Author Topic: Yugoslav atomic bomb  (Read 2973 times)

Yugoslav atomic bomb
« on: July 27, 2013, 07:21:16 PM »
Just read about Yugoslavia's atomic bomb bid over on Secret Projects, here:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,20049.0.html

In OTL the project was scrapped in the early 60s and looked at again in the mid-70s.

I found it fascinating and definitely food for thought. Any speculation on what would have happened had the project come to fruition and an air-deliverable weapon become available circa the mid-60s? What would replace the F-84s? Does relations with the Soviet Union stay frosty or thaw? Would we have seen Yugoslav F-101Cs, B-66s, maybe F-105Bs or is it more Yak-28s and Su-17s?

What about the 70s timeframe? Buccaneers, Corsair IIs, Etendards, Fencers?

Loads of options!


Offline Litvyak

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2013, 09:26:40 PM »
Two possibilities - either shunned by both sides our courted even harder by both sides.

If 'A', more reliance on domestic development and cooperation with other non-aligned states, and eventually, maybe a nuclear-capable Orao, or a joint YU-SA effort to develop a new fighter, be that Novi Avion or Carver...

If 'B', things could get really interesting! Imagine some Su-24s escorted by F-101s, or some A-10s with MiG-29s for cover? :D Okay, maybe this is implausible but it could be fun...

... all that said I think the likeliest result would've been essentially the same as India's path.

.....aaaaand, when the Secession Wars begin, they're a much nastier thing, and those lovely cities like Zagreb, Sarajevo, Belgrade, Osijek, Banja Luka and whatnot all get hit with tacticals, and the entire ex-YU ends up becoming like a live action game of Twilight: 2000 on a grand scale... :(
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Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 12:32:26 AM »
Wow, that's....terrifying. Considering what lay in the future of Yugoslavia, we're most likely all better off that they never built them. Certainly the Yugoslavians are better off.
I can'tr even begin to imagine what sort of effect their own bomb would have made on East-West stability. Made things more or less stable? I'm of the mind that it would have made things less, as it would have fed the Russians mindset of encirclement. Yoiks.


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Offline tsrjoe

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 12:34:06 AM »
hmm, interesting stuff,  Yugoslav F.84 or MiG.21 with underwing nuke ? (both types being carriage capable) certainly be a subtle whiff on the table (kindv like SAAF. Buccaneer, with 'Red Beard like' shape, and Swedish Lansen or A.36 with 'B.43/57 like' shape !)

i wonder if any drawings will appear of a nominal casing shape for an airdrop weapon as have other states proposed nuclear 'shapes' ?

 8) joe
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 12:38:29 AM by tsrjoe »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 03:14:18 AM »
Wow, that's....terrifying. Considering what lay in the future of Yugoslavia, we're most likely all better off that they never built them. Certainly the Yugoslavians are better off.

Agreed.
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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 09:15:48 PM »
I was more interested in the effects on the Cold War and which birds would work best in Yugoslav colours. I hadn't really considered later.

Remember the presence of Nukes was just as likely to be a stabilising force for the region. The threat of MAD and all that. The whole Balkan Conflict could disappear on the back of a butterfly (wouldn't that be nice!).

Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 11:01:24 PM »
I think MAD only works when both sides are relatively sane. Civil wars tend to drive the sane off the map. Who knows though, it might have damped things down, maybe...maybe.

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Offline Litvyak

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 11:43:12 PM »
You know, being a Balkaner by extraction... I don't really think it would have been a stabilising influence. Do you seriously think a guy like Arkan, or a leader like Tudjman, wouldn't have been perfectly capable of setting one off somewhere?

The only way it *may* have been a stabiliser is if they'd been split up such that each of the federal states had had some bombs... and then the three major sides might have had pause before getting to fighting. On the other hand...

More likely, though, the Yugoslav nuclear arsenal would've been like the Air Force, and would've ended up entirely under Serbian control... with perhaps a bomb getting stolen by a Croatian officer as happened with a MiG-21 or two.
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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2013, 05:58:57 PM »
First off, MAD doesn't require sanity at all. Only a healthy self-preservation drive.

Second, I said it was as likely. I see MAD as very much a 50/50 proposition.

Third, like I said, a completely different 60s and 70s could butterfly away a lot of the crap that followed.

Fourth, er hostility much! I'm not advocating nuclear ethnic cleansing!!! I don't think anyone is trying to murder my grandparents whenever someone does a bloody Luftwaffe bomber!

Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2013, 10:13:15 PM »
On the other hand, as soon as Yugoslavia began the slide into chaos, can you see NATO, the US and even the Russians standing around doing nothing while nukes began to fall into the hands of less savory types? You might have seen a much larger "intervention" in the former Yugoslavia to prevent the nukes from going missing.

Under Tito, the whole idea of a "neutral" nuclear force would be interesting.  He'd have been in an unique position, and would have either become courted by both sides, or a pariah. Certainly the F-84 would have been useful to carry smaller nukes, as would the F-86s. If Tito wound up becoming less popular with the Americans and the Russians, he may have courted the French, as they had also a non-NATO approach to their security. That also gives you the opportunity to do Mirages in Yugoslavian markings, along with the French weapon shapes as well.

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Re: Yugoslav atomic bomb
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 03:30:33 AM »
Going back to the original post questions:

Assuming Yugoslavia did develop their own nuclear weapon in the mid '60's or '70s, I can see these options:

Mid '60s (which means your talking of service entry late '60s/early '70s):  Initially F-84 and probably the Soko J-22 Orao (see below) later on.  In fact the J-22 would probably be the main user and the requirement to cary a nuke would have been a key part of the specification for the platform.



Mid '70s (with service entry late '70s/early '80s):  Definitely the J-22 with an eventual replacement planned as the Novi Avion (see below)



In either case, should Yugoslavia have gone through with and developed and actually fielded an air deliverable nuclear weapon, I can't see them being supplied modern (or even modern-ish) platforms to carry it.  Neither side would want to be seen as aiding in this regard since the nuke wouldn't be in their control.  The only way I could see an external supply of such platforms would be either if Yugoslavia firmly aligned with one side or the other (and even then, I believe the pressure would have been on to lose the nuke) or to acquire a platform surreptitiously.  In such a case I think they would have needed to have kept the program secret and acquired something that didn't arouse suspicions (such as a dedicated strike platform would have).  This would probably lead one to a light attack platform such as an A-4 or A-7 or G-91 or maybe even a Harrier (early then late) or even something such as a Draken or Viggen (keeping the neutral link).  Another option might have been something such as the Nanchang Q-5.

From a whiff point of view, I personally love the idea of a Yugoslav A-4 or Viggen. ;)

That all said though, I still tend to think that a Yugoslav nuke would have been carried by a Yugoslav platform with the J-22 being the prime candidate.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2013, 03:34:56 AM by GTX_Admin »
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