AIR-2 Genie was a line of Air-Air missiles with nuclear warheads for tactical purposes Manufactured by United States of America and Canada. In the period under 1957-1962, Being in service 1965 the 1984. Were produced about 3,000 such missiles.
AIR-2 was 2.95 m long, 44 cm, weighed 372 kg and reached Mach 3.3
Development and tactical employmentEditAIR-2 Genie was developed to attack large strategic bombers that the Soviet Union was building up in the 1950s. The yield of nuclear warhead AIR-2 Genie was 1.5 kilotons. Although at high altitudes the impact of a tactical nuclear weapon, this type, was reduced due to the rarefied atmosphere of more than 10 km in height (which reduces the strength of any kinetic impact), its use was very efficient when considering the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generated by the explosion of the warhead.
The electromagnetic pulse could destroy all electronic systems, communications and guiding of the enemy aircraft, and even essential electrical parts f the plane. That is, this weapon, even if detonated at a distance of a group of Bombers opponents could disable them or damage them seriously, they were overthrown by facilitating any American fighter then.
In the early 1950s, the USSR developed the strategic bomber Tupolev Tu-95 Bear. With autonomy 10-12 thousand km, i.e., ability to lead large nuclear weapons to U.S. territory. As then the nuclear strategy of great powers was centered in strategic bombers, Possession of a weapon effective against bombers could mean victory in a major battle in the air Arctic.
The United States decided to build this type of weapon during the first decade of Cold War to try to prevent the USSR had no capacity to retaliate against American territory with a nuclear attack, if attacked with nuclear weapons, Ie to try to maintain the U.S. nuclear superiority clear that continued until 1960.
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