This article is about the explosive device. You may be looking for Nuke, the pet cat of the Militaires Sans Frontières.
V vi nuke

A nuclear weapon, labelled with the trefoil symbol that indicates hazardous ionizing radiation.

A nuclear weapon or nuke is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion (thermonuclear weapon). Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The resulting explosion will lead to the creation of a mushroom cloud in the vicinity. The use of nukes against a specific target is sometimes referred to as "nuking."[1] In large part because of the severe risks of launching a nuke as well as the large potency of loss of life as a result, the order to launch nuclear weapons is generally restricted to only those who are among high rank, and usually have access to a portable launch terminal in the event that they have to be confronted with the decision when far away from a nuclear command center.

Nuclear weapons delivery is the technology and systems used to place a nuclear weapon at the position of detonation, on or near its target. Examples Bombs dropped from aircraft,ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.


Nuclear weapons were first developed via the Manhattan project in the form of the Atomic Bomb. It resulted in the creation of the Fatman and Little Boy, which were later used in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nearing the end of World War II. It was later assumed that there was a mole inside the Manhattan Project via John von Neumann via the Nazis, which led to a near-assassination attempt on him by The Boss. However, this was later revealed to be misinformation pushed by the Russian Branch of the Philosophers onto their American counterparts, although The Boss nonetheless regretted failing her mission despite this due to it ultimately leading to nuclear proliferation. Some of the people involved in the Manhattan Project were of French origin due to various French scientists fleeing the Nazi occupation.

The USSR later by way of espionage in the form of a Manhattan project scientist stealing secrets and giving them to the Russians which is why Stalin was unsurprised when Truman informed him of the project and it's success it's also why they were able to quickly develop their own nuclear weapon, which was one of the reasons the Cold War started. This eventually got to a head with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Nuclear missiles


Nuclear missile examples.

There are multiple types of nuclear missiles, which depend on their range. Nuclear missiles whose range exceeds 5500 km are Strategic Nuclear Weapons, which include ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile), and those launched by long-range bomber planes (such as the B2 and the B1-B); Nuclear missiles whose range is between 500 and 5500 km are Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) warheads, also known as Theater Nuclear Weapons, with the long range variations (LINF) exceeding 1000 km, and the short range variations (SINF) being from 500 to 1000 km; nuclear missiles with a range less than 500 km are Short Range Nuclear Force, which are also known as Tactical Nuclear Weapons or battlefield nuclear weapons for their role.

The term nuclear warhead refers to the explosive material that is delivered by a nuclear missile.

Davy Crockett

See Davy Crockett.


MIRVs are a type of warhead that holds multiple smaller warheads within. They were first deployed by America after receiving half of the Philosophers' Legacy. Russia eventually developed its own variant, as evidenced by the false data that was sent to NORAD as well as an earlier simulation conducted by Dr. Strangelove that Cécile Cosima Caminades accidentally recorded.

Missiles at Shadow Moses

The missiles located at Shadow Moses Island were ostensibly shipped there in the early 2000s for disposal. They were rather weather beaten and at risk of plutonium leakage, prohibiting the use of weapons inside the warhead storage building in 2005. By 2014, the warheads had been removed from the missiles.

Stealth Nukes

Stealth Nukes were modified to not utilize propellant as well as utilize stealth technology and thus be invisible not only to radar, but also from exhaust propellant trails. These were developed in conjunction with Metal Gear REX at Shadow Moses Island when it was taken over by FOXHOUND and the Next-Generation Special Forces. They were to be launched via REX without fear of nuclear retaliation due to the fact that they were launched via Metal Gear REX's rail gun, and thus technically not missiles and inapplicable to the current ballistic treaties.

The manner in which they operate is that the launch is being propelled at ultra high velocities without the need of a rocket, and it also requires much less work to safely prepare it to launch and also very cheap to produce compared to standard ICBMs (which utilize a 2nd-stage or 3rd-stage solid fuel rocket), and their 50% zone is close to 50 meters.[2] After the Shadow Moses Incident, the stealth nuke specs were sold to various locations around the world by Revolver Ocelot alongside the Metal Gear REX test data.[3]

Peace Walker's nuclear missile

Peace Walker carried a launcher on its back for firing a nucear missile. The missiles used to arm Peace Walker were nicknamed "spears" during their transport into Costa Rica.[4]

RDS-220 Hydrogen Bomb

The RDS-220 Hydrogen Bomb, better known as the Tsar Bomba (Russian: Царь-бомба; "Tsar Bomb" or "Emperor Bomb") and also known as the AN602 Hydrogen Bomb, was the most powerful nuclear missile ever detonated. It had an estimated yield of 57 megatons, which was ten times all the explosives used during World War II. It was detonated during a test on October 30, 1961, located at the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, at Sukhoy Nos. When it was detonated, the bomb's resulting fireball was 2 miles in diameters, and was comparable to a miniature sun. In addition, it was seen as far away as in Finland, 600 miles away, with reports of windows shattering from the shockwave. The shockwave went around the earth three times before eventually dissipating.

Peace Walker's hydrogen bomb, intended for self-destruction purposes was claimed by Huey to have an explosive yield far greater than even the Tsar Bomba, the size of which was one of the reasons why Peace Walker was designed to be bipedal/quadrupedal.

1980s PF nuclear bomb

During the 1980s, various PFs, including Diamond Dogs, had access to nuclear weapons as deterrents against any rival PFs infiltrating and stealing any resources from their FOBs. They were massive pill-shaped devices marked with the trefoil logo, as well as various words indicating model types, and were contained in box-likes structures.

Unconfirmed history

The following information has been detailed in official Konami-licensed media, written by various external authors. Its status in the Metal Gear canon is unconfirmed.[?]

The missiles stored on Shadow Moses were enhanced models of the AGM-129 ACM Cruise Missile, a low observable, air launched strategic missile.[5] Armed with nuclear warheads ACMnu57 64, these missiles are launched from the rail gun of Metal Gear REX, delivering a payload of 200kt with a 20 mile radius.[5]

Behind the scenes

In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, the manual and the game's backstory established that nuclear weapons had been totally abandoned by 1997, with Zanzibar Land becoming the sole nuclear-armed country in 1999. This backstory was retconned in Metal Gear Solid in order to bring it more in-line with real world events, wherein some disarmament had taken place, but nuclear weapons had never been totally abandoned. However, the re-released versions of Metal Gear 2 still refer to the former backstory, due to the script not having been updated.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The player is eventually given the option to develop a nuclear weapon for their own Mother Base in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Possessing a nuclear weapon acts as a deterrent by preventing some players from invading the owner's FOB. There are two different trophies/achievements relating to nuclear weapons development. The first, "Deterrence," is for successfully developing a nuclear weapon, and the second, "Disarmament," is for successfully disposing of one.

One nuclear weapon increases the player's PF offense and defense drastically. Also, possessing a nuclear weapon will have a rival infiltrate the player in mere minutes of a blockade expiration in an attempt to steal it. However, each nuclear weapon will increase the blockage length by a full day, even if the defense was successful. Therefore, possessing 16 nuclear weapons would only allow the player to be infiltrated once every 16 days. The downside is the player cannot infiltrate any other player's bases. Therefore, it is highly suggested the player fully develops all weapons and items before embarking on this venture as it will replace the insurance that covers a maximum of 2 weeks. One key downside is the player will have to keep playing the White Mamba mission and keep extracting the child soldiers to counteract the amount of demon points they will accumulate from developing 16 nuclear weapons. Provided, of course, they are bothered by Demon Snake.


Nuclear weapons report for The Phantom Pain.

"The most powerful weapon of mass destruction humanity has ever created, nuclear weapons employ the tremendous energy released by nuclear fission. Merely possessing one makes its owner a threat and has the effect of deterring retaliation from rivals."
―Nuclear Weapon description in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Developing a single nuclear weapon costs 750,000 GMP as well as 75,000 fuel resources and 50,000 minor metals, making it among the most expensive of development projects in the game. In addition, it also causes a severe loss of 50,000 Heroism points upon completion, and also results in a significant increase of Demon points by the same amount, which usually results in the instant transformation into Demon Snake. It also requires a single day to fully develop.

"Fuel from nuclear weapons that have been marked for disposal is vitrified and stored securely in a concrete structure at the bottom of the ocean."
―Nuclear Waste description in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

For disposing of a nuclear weapon, or creating nuclear waste, it costs roughly 100,000 GMP just to dispose of a nuclear weapon, and also rewards the player with 1,000 hero points.

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Player fultoning out a nuke during FOB mode.

The player can also steal nukes via the Fulton recovery system. However, it requires that the player with a high amount of heroism infiltrate a rival FOB holding a nuke, and it requires the +CARGO 2 Fulton upgrade to extract.

A hidden ending in The Phantom Pain shows Diamond Dogs disarming the entire world of nukes, which is believed to be unlocked after disarming a certain amount number of them through FOB missions.[6] According to Hideo Kojima, this ending was added in to apply the concept of an anti-war anti-nuke message from various movies into the game, due to the standard method of telling the message in movies not working well with players.[7] In the Famitsu complete guide to The Phantom Pain, it gives some hints on how to get the ending. Namely:

"How to trigger the ‘Nuclear Abolition’ Event
This event can occur multiple times, provided all the requirements are met.
1. Complete Mission 31, Sahelanthropus
2. Don’t have any nukes in your possession or in development.
3. A certain requirement needs to be met on your game version’s server (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Steam).
4. After requirement 3 has been met, all nukes on your game version’s server (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, or Steam) need to be decommissioned, bringing the total number down to 0.
5. Complete a main mission or return to Mother Base.
Famitsu guide to unlocking the disarmament ending (translated)

The exact method alluded to in step three is not made clear.[8] Piggyback Guides later included the steps in a special downloadable set of pages that were meant for Mission 46: Truth: The Man who Sold the World.[9]

"The Secret Nuclear Disarmament Event
In addition to Mission 46, there is another important secret in
Metal Gear Solid V: a hidden event that can only be unlocked when very specific conditions are fulfilled.
1. You must have completed Mission 31.
2. You must not own or be currently developing a nuclear weapon. If you have any nukes in stock, you must dismantle them.
3. Certain conditions related to nuclear proliferation must be met on the regional server for your corresponding gaming system (PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, Xbox 360).
4. All nuclear weapons on the regional server corresponding to your console or platform must have been dismantled. In other words, the amount of nukes on your platform's server must be equal to 0.
If all four conditions are met, you will automatically trigger the secret nuclear disarmament event when you return to Mother Base or after you complete a main mission. Should new nukes be developed after conditions 3 and 4 have been fulfilled, this event can be repeated by fulfilling all four conditions again.
―Piggyback Guide instructions for Nuclear Disarmament event unlockment

On November 26, the official site gave news about the secret nuclear disarmament event, and also revealed that more news will be unveiled via Twitter.[10][11] In addition, each day also updated itself to feature how many nukes that were being disarmed by the prior day:

Date Amount as of November 1 Amount as of listed date Total deducted between each date
PS4 PS3 Xbox One Xbox 360 Steam PS4 PS3 Xbox One Xbox 360 Steam PS4 PS3 Xbox One Xbox 360 Steam
November 25, 2015 2761 1685 525 1011 36552 352 250 96 85 15691 2409 1435 429 926 20861
November 26, 2015 349 215 81 75 15206 3 35 15 10 485
November 28, 2015 206 153 485 39 12081 143 62 404 36 3125
November 29, 2015 188 140 52 35 11473 18 1392 433 4 608
November 30, 2015 168 137 47 32 11013 20 3 5 3 460
December 1, 2015 165 135 44 31 10450 3 2 3 1 563
May 24, 2016 1331 569 198 203 6657 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

This ultimately ended up discontinued due to a spike in nuclear weapons development, although it was revived under Konami by popular demand via the reddit Metal Gear Anti Nuclear.[12]

On February 2, 2018, the disarmament cutscene was unlocked by Steam players, despite the latter party still being within the thousands regarding nuclear armaments.[13][14]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2004).
    Major Ocelot: You're going to nuke your fellow Russians [with the Davy Crockett, Colonel Volgin]?!
  2. ^ Otacon explains this in a Codec call.
  3. ^ Otacon explains this in a Codec call during the Tanker Incident.
  4. ^ Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Kojima Productions (2010).
    Naked Snake (Big Boss): The radio man was wearing one [film badge]. And whoever he was talking to called the cargo "Spears." // Kazuhira Miller: Wait, that would mean... // Snake: Nukes. They're bringing Nukes into Costa Rica.
  5. ^ a b Metal Gear Solid Official Mission Handbook, Millennium Books (1998).
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