The nuclear briefcase is a briefcase acting as a mobile terminal to access nuclear launch centers and their payload of nuclear weapons. It is primarily utilized by the highest leaders of countries to authorize a nuclear strike. The American equivalent is known as the nuclear football, the atomic football, the president's emergency satchel, the button, the black case, or just the football, and is to be used by the President of the United States if he is away from nuclear command centers in the event of a nuclear attack. Because of the severe importance of the briefcase and the extreme risk of danger should it ever be separated from those authorized to use it, the briefcase is usually handcuffed to either the person authorized to use it, or to those they trust most.
Hot Coldman/Peace Sentinel
In 1974, Hot Coldman and the Peace Sentinel utilized a nuclear briefcase during the Peace Walker Incident, for the mobile nuclear retaliation system Peace Walker. During the late stages of the incident, he had the briefcase handcuffed to his arm, although he was later forced by the KGB agent Vladimir Zadornov to input the code after the latter changed targets to Cuba. While travelling on a MSF chopper to Mother Base, Coldman, by that point dying from severe blood loss caused by Zadornov shooting him earlier, accessed the briefcase and inputted the code (1976), thus sending the false data to Peace Walker, and by extension several third parties, including NORAD. However, Coldman also briefly ended up in agony when MSF subcommander Kazuhira Miller forcibly lifted the briefcase when investigating a high-pitched beeping sound emanating from the briefcase, with the latter demanding to know what Coldman did. Upon dying he dropped the case and took the secret of the abort code with him.
By the time of the Big Shell Incident in 2009, the football had undergone various improvements: Namely, it can be used to access Arsenal Gear's nuclear payload, and the President needed to input the code of his own free will (ie, he couldn't be drugged or coerced into using the code), as sensors were inside that detected whether the President was within his normal brainwaves or heart rate, and also utilized the DNA base order and physiological data as further insurance that only the President could utilize the case. In addition, it also did a vitalization re-check from the President before it could truly confirm the order. President James Johnson, a disgruntled member of the Patriots, was convinced by Solidus Snake to do so for the first check, although he was kept alive to ensure the vitalization recheck was in order after he learned that Solidus had different aims from him. The code was terminated when Revolver Ocelot, acting on Patriot orders, killed Johnson by shooting him. A Navy Captain was charged with keeping the case, but Vamp forcibly separated the case when retrieving President Johnson from SEAL Team 10's Alpha Team after killing him by severing the handcuff. FOXHOUND agent Raiden and Lieutenant Junior Grade Iroquois Pliskin later discovered the sight of the severed handcuff, and while Raiden didn't know what the handcuff remains were for, Pliskin deduced what the Captain had been carrying before stumbling due to blood loss caused by injuries inflicted upon him by Vamp from earlier.