Atomic Demolition Munitions

The U.S. Nuclear Weapons Cost Study Project was completed in August 1998 and resulted in the book Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 edited by Stephen I. Schwartz. These project pages should be considered historical.

Scientists displaying the warhead (left) and packing container for the Medium Atomic Demolition Munition (MADM), a low-yield (1- to 15-kiloton) nuclear land mine designed to be deployed behind enemy lines and destroy tunnels, bridges, dams, and disrupt enemy troop movements. The entire unit (including warhead) weighed less than 400 pounds and was deployed from 1965 to 1986.

Another view of the MADM, showing (from left) the packing container, warhead, code-decoder unit, and firing unit.

The carrying case for the W54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition (SADM). The SADM had a yield of 0.01, or 0.02-1 kiloton and was operationally deployed between 1964 and 1988. The entire unit weighed less than 163 pounds (74 kilograms).

Credit: Department of Defense (courtesy Natural Resources Defense Council)