Transporting a nuclear weapon via public roads poses a number of threats, chief amongst which is the possibility of an attack on the vehicle that is transporting the weapon. For this reason, Sandia National Laboratories recently conducted a full-scale crash test which involved strapping rockets onto a semi-truck before launching it into a nuclear-weapons transporter.
The full-scale crash test was conducted at on a sled track facility owned by Sandia National Laboratories, with the main reason behind the test being to see if a new weapons transporter prototype, which has been named ‘Mobile Guardian Transporter’ would be able to withstand a high speed impact collision from another vehicle. Data gathered from the crash test demonstrates the transporters ability to protect its payload while also providing valuable information on how the payloads react to a severe collision.
In light of the crash test, the Mobile Guardian Transporter will now be used as a replacement for the US government’s current nuclear transporter, which explains why precise information or video footage of the test is so scarce.
According to Kylen Johns, lead on the prototype project: “We had a goal of gathering an unprecedented amount of data, realizing that it would be extremely difficult in such a harsh environment. To reduce risk, we built in redundancy to the systems and included peer reviewers in every step of the preparation. We were crashing a semi into another semi and protecting these super tiny, thin cables meant the difference between getting critical data or missing major objectives.”
A successful full-scale crash test years in the making marks the biggest transporter test in decades and a major milestone for the nuclear deterrence program https://t.co/7BK4O0pmOG pic.twitter.com/HUB2iBzNeB
— Sandia National Labs (@SandiaLabs) October 8, 2020
Picture: Twitter / @SandiaLabs