Museum of Strategic Nuclear Missile Troops
Museum of Strategic Nuclear Missile Troops Kirovohrad Reviews
Watching the world end; A chilling musuem on Nuclear War. Jun 21, 2011
The 46th Strategic Nuclear Missile Regiment museum is located near Mohyliv-Podilskyi or Pobuzhskoe town. Sort of. Kirovohrad town is as near as I could find on the Trav Buddy map. It’s not often you can go into a nuclear missile silo (ok, one other museum in Arizona). At the 46th you can see the tunnels, command centres, missiles, accommodation and other dooms day devices of interests. Sit in the command chair, turn the key, press the launch button, sit back and watch the world end…
The 46th Strategic Nuclear Missile Regiment Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silo is located in Ukraine. The regiment, the only one its kind in Ukraine, was part of the Soviet nuclear deterrent. It’s silos could launch up to 30 ICBMs in a first strike or counter strike role. In total Soviet forces had around 370 ICBM land based silos able to deliver up to 1,200 nuclear strikes. After reloading its missile silos, the 46th regiment was capable of firing a further salvo. At this point the world would be covered in nuclear fall out and most life would die.
Unlike the United State’s ICBM silos, where once a missile is launched the silo is destroyed by exhausts, Soviet silos remain intact and can be prepped to fire a second salvo. Some of the photos show the ICBM prep vehicles.
Fifty metres below ground, the first officer’s command chair and console is located. In the final stages of the Strategic Nuclear Weapon firing chain the second and first officers simultaneously turn their launch keys. The first officer then presses the small grey button on the right of the photo, and the ICBM is launched. Then the world ends.
Also on site is the ‘Satan’ 100 mega tonne ICBM. Most regular ICBMs contain only one, two or at most five mega tonne warhead. A 100 mega tonne thermonuclear detonation over London would destroy most of Paris and heavily damage Edinburgh.
Most ICBMs contain multiple warheads. One ICBM can have up to sixteen thermonuclear warheads and numerous dummies. Once the ICBM has left the atmosphere, the warheads (Mulitple Re-Entry Vehicles) each have a separate population centre target. Silo commanders do not know the firing solution or the population centre target of their ICBM, it is transmitted to the missile direct from the Kremlin. The eight tonne silo blast door can withstand a direct hit from a nuclear warhead, then launch a retaliatory strike.
The guide told me off for faking a ‘code red’ nuclear strike call on the bunker – Moscow telephone. Later on though he demanded I pose for photos pushing the launch buttons. Double standards!
Situated in fields in the middle of no where halfway between Odessa and Kiev, this place is a nightmare to get to. Public transport is non-existent. The best bet is to rent a taxi for the day from Kiev or Odessa. Some companies that offer Chernobyl tours do this. Bear in mind that no English is spoken, so if you go with a travel company make sure the driver can translate for you. Final point, the guide will offer to take you deeper into the launch chamber – for a small fee! This minor extortion is worth it.
Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_missile_forces_museum_in_Ukraine
Offical museum website (in English):
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