W70 is the designation for a tactical nuclear warhead developed by the United States in the early 1970s. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory designed W70 was used on the MGM-52 Lance. About 1250 were built in total. The warhead had a variable yield of between 1 and 100 kilotons, selectable by the user. The design dates from 1973.
The W70-3 was a modified version of the W70 and one of the first warheads to be battlefield-ready with an "enhanced radiation" (i.e. neutron bomb) feature. It had an explosive yield of about 1 kt., was manufactured during 1981-83, and was retired by 1992; 380 were built. Note that using the explosive yield of a neutron weapon to measure its destructive power can be deceptive: most of the injuries inflicted by a neutron weapon are caused by its intense pulse of ionising radiation, not from heat and blast.
- the W-70 ... is not even remotely a "neutron bomb." Instead of being the type of weapon that, in the popular mind, "kills people and spares buildings" it is one that both kills and physically destroys on a massive scale. The W-70 is not a discriminate weapon, like the neutron bomb — which, incidentally, should be considered a weapon that "kills enemy personnel while sparing the physical fabric of the attacked populace, and even the populace too."
- "Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) - W70". globalsecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/systems/w70.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-11.
- "Types of Nuclear Weapons". carey sublette. http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Nwfaq/Nfaq1.html. Retrieved 2006-04-07.
- U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile (June 1990). Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. http://books.google.com/books?id=tgwAAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA48. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
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