Equipment of Strategic Air Command

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Strategic Air Command equipment includes weapon systems and ordnance (e.g., strategic weapons such as ICBMs), ground radars and computers (e.g., at SSN 1979-82), and other Cold War devices of the USAF major command.

Special Weapons Emergency Separation System

This system (SWESS), also known informally as the dead man's switch, was a nuclear bomb release system that the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command built into bombers such as the B-52 Stratofortress. The system's purpose was to ensure that an aircraft's payload of nuclear weapons would detonate in the event of the crew becoming debilitated by enemy defences such as missiles.[1] Once armed, the system would ensure that the onboard nuclear weapons detonated if the aircraft dropped below a predetermined altitude.

See also

SAC Equipment
Type Model Start End
Combat aircraft B-1 Lancer 1986 1992
Combat aircraft B-17 Flying Fortress (RB-17G) 1946 1951
Combat aircraft B-26 Invader (RB-26) 1949 1950
Combat aircraft B-29 Superfortress 1946 1953
Combat aircraft B-36 Peacemaker 1948 1958
Combat aircraft B-45 Tornado 1950 1953
Combat aircraft B-47 Stratojet 1951 1965
Combat aircraft B-50 Superfortress 1948 1954
Combat aircraft B-52 Stratofortress 1955 1992
Combat aircraft B-57 Canberra 1956 1962
Combat aircraft B-58 Hustler 1960 1969
Combat aircraft C-119 Flying Boxcar 1956 1973
Combat aircraft DC-130 Hercules 1966 1976
Combat aircraft E-4 Nightwatch 1975 1992
Combat aircraft EC-135 Looking Glass 1963 1992
Combat aircraft F-2 Expeditor (F=Fotorecon; C-45)
Combat aircraft F-6 Mustang (F=Fotorecon; P-51)
Combat aircraft F-9 Flying Fortress (F=Fotorecon; B-17F/G)
Combat aircraft F-13 Superfortress (F=Fotorecon; B-29A)
Combat aircraft F-47 Thunderbolt (P-47) 1946 1947
Combat aircraft F-51 Mustang (P-51) 1946 1949
Combat aircraft F-82 Twin Mustang 1947 1950
Combat aircraft F-80 Shooting Star 1946 1948
Combat aircraft F-84 Thunderjet 1948 1957
Combat aircraft F-86 Sabre 1949 1950
Combat aircraft F-102 Delta Dagger 1960
Combat aircraft FB-111 Aardvark 1969 1990
Combat aircraft KC-10 Extender 1981 1992
Combat aircraft KB-29 1949 1956
Combat aircraft KC-97 Stratofreighter SAC 1951 1964
Combat aircraft KC-135 Stratotanker SAC 1957 1991
Combat aircraft RC-45 Expeditor
Combat aircraft RC-135
Combat aircraft SR-71 Blackbird 1966 1991
Combat aircraft U-2 Dragon Lady 1962 1991
Combat aircraft TR-1 Dragon Lady 1989 1991
Support aircraft UC-45 Expeditor
Support aircraft AT-11 Kansan
Support aircraft B-26 Invader 1949 1950
Support aircraft C-45 Expeditor 1946 1951
Support aircraft C-47 Skytrain 1946 1947
Support aircraft C-54 Skymaster 1946 1975
Support aircraft C-82 Packet 1946 1947
Support aircraft C-97 Stratofreighter 1949 1978
Support aircraft C-118 Liftmaster 1957 1975
Support aircraft C-124 Globemaster II 1959 1962
Support aircraft C-131 Samaritan
Support aircraft C-135 Stratolifter
Support aircraft CH-3 Sea King SAC c. 1960s
Support aircraft HU-16 Albatross SAC c. 1950s/1960s
Support aircraft L-4 Grasshopper 1949 1950
Support aircraft L-5 Sentinel 1949 1950
Support aircraft L-13 Grasshopper 1949 1950
Support aircraft PBY Catalina
Support aircraft T-38 Talon 1981 1991
Support aircraft UH-1 Huey 1966 1992
Missile ADM-20 Quail
Missile AGM-28 Hound Dog
Missile AGM-69 SRAM
Missile AGM-84 Harpoon
Missile AGM-86 Air Launched Cruise Missile
Missile AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile
Missile HGM-16 Atlas
Missile HGM-25A Titan I
Missile LGM-25 Titan II
Missile LGM-30A/B Minuteman I
Missile LGM-30F Minuteman II
Missile LGM-30G Minuteman III
Missile LGM-118A Peacekeeper
Missile SM-62 Snark
Missile PGM-17A Thor
Missile PGM-19A Jupiter
Ground system Athena computer
Ground system AN/MPS-9
Ground system AN/MSQ-1
Ground system AN/MSQ-2
Ground system AN/MSQ-35
Ground system AN/MSQ-77 1965
Ground system AN/MSQ-81
Ground system AN/MSQ-96
Ground system AN/TLQ-11
Ground system BMEWS 1979 1982
Ground system GWEN
Ground system train: Big Star (ICBM)
Ground system trains: RBS Express (3) 1961 c. 1971
Ground system SACCCS


  1. Sagan, Scott Douglas (1995). The Limits of Safety. Princeton University Press. pp. 187–188. ISBN 0-691-02101-5. Retrieved 2008-11-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>