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The advanced new Dolphin-class submarines recently supplied to the Israeli navy have been the focus of much interest in defense establishments worldwide. The main preoccupation is with the RAFAEL-made Popeye Turbo cruise missiles, to which the foreign press attribute ballistic capabilities.
What are the actual capabilities of this highly advanced missile? There is of course no formal answer to this query, but according to the large variety of publications, Israel’s submarines have been fitted with a unique system of submarine-launched cruise missile, designed to carry a nuclear warhead of 200kg. This unique model is powered by a jet engine with liquid fuel. The Popeye Turbo, which is 6.25m long, may have a range of 1500km.
Based on the specifications of the weight of the launched warheads, scientists from the Federation of American Scientists calculated the extent of the destruction as a result of a nuclear detonation caused by this missiles. They concluded the wind speed generated by the blast could reach hundreds of miles per hour. The range of the blast varies according to the warhead’s original charge, and in accordance with the altitude of the blast. The extent of the detonation damage varies when the blast takes places right over the round or on low areas: rising up to a certain optimum point at a certain altitude, above which this area gets smaller.
The explosion radius, scientifically calculated based on the detonation radius – assuming the basic charge is relatively small, 4 kiloton – will include serious damage or even total demolition of concrete buildings up to 300m from the impact. Casualty rates will stand at 100%. In the case of a detonation overhead, damage and casualties will also be 100% at a radius of 1.6km. These calculations do not factor in radiation damages, whose direct impact – such as immediate death and or serious, life-threatening burns – will extend as far as a 3.57 km radius.