World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

M143 bomblet

Article Id: WHEBN0020186740
Reproduction Date:

Title: M143 bomblet  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: E120 bomblet, E61 anthrax bomblet, E14 munition, List of U.S. biological weapons topics, 2001 anthrax attacks
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

M143 bomblet

The M143 bomblet was a biological cluster bomb sub-munition developed by the United States during the 1960s. The spherical bomblet was the biological version of the Sarin-filled M139 chemical bomblet.


The M143 bomblet was produced at the peak of U.S. biological delivery systems development during the 1960s.[1] Essentially, the biological version of the M139 bomblet, the M143 was smaller than the M139.[1] The Sergeant missile system utilized the M143 in its M210 warhead, it could hold 720 individual bomblets. If that system released the bomblets at an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,000 m), the weapon could attain a coverage area of 60 square miles.[1]


The M143 was a spherical bomblet that had a diameter of 8.6 centimeters (cm).[2] Designed to carry a liquid biological agent, the M143 carried a 0.5 kilogram (kg) explosive charge meant to disseminate the agent upon impact.[2] Eight percent of the liquid released from the M143 was in the form of an inhalable aerosol. When filled, the bomblet had a mass of .34 kg and 190 milliliters (ml) of liquid agent could contain 6 X 1012 anthrax spores.[2] The M143 demonstrates the lethality of even a small amount of biological agent, the amount of anthrax contained in the bomblet would be the equivalent of 300 million lethal doses.[2]

Tests involving the M143

The M143 bomblet was used in multiple biological weapons effectiveness tests by the U.S. Army. Two tests, collectively dubbed "Yellow Leaf" sought to test the M143 and biological agents in a jungle environment.[3] The tests were divided into two Phases, Phase A was at the Panama Canal Zone and utilized tiara as a simulant. Tests in Panama could not be completed because of "international considerations", and an alternate test site was found in Hawaii at the Olau Forest, southwest of Hilo.[3] The goals of the Yellow Leaf tests were to learn the effectiveness of the M143 in a jungle environment, the area of coverage for a U.S. Navy MISTEYE I weapons system Sergeant missile biological warhead over a jungle.[3] The Panama tests took place in February 1964 and the Hawaii tests, utilizing the simulant Bacillus globigii, took place from April-May 1966.[3]

Other tests, known as "Red Cloud", took place from November 1966-February 1967 in the Tanana Valley near Fort Greely, Alaska.[4] The main goal of Red Cloud was to obtain data on Francisella tularensis and its decay rate as well as its animal infectivity data.[4] The tests involved M143 bomblets being dropped from a tower-mounted gun into a wintertime spruce forest.[4] E26 and M32 dissemination devices were also used. The tests disseminated the following biological agents or simulants: F. tularensis (both wet and dry variants), B. globigii, Serratia marcescens, and Escherichia coli. Both Red Cloud and Yellow Leaf were overseen by the U.S. Army's Deseret Test Center,[3][4] and were part of Project 112.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Smart, Jeffery K. Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare: Chapter 2 - History of Chemical and Biological Warfare: An American Perspective, (PDF: p. 51), Borden Institute, Textbooks of Military Medicine, PDF via Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, accessed November 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Countermeasures, Chapter 6 - An Overview of Emerging Missile State Countermeasures, p. 14, accessed November 12, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Fact Sheet - Yellow Leaf", Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), Deployment Health Support Directorate, accessed November 12, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d "Fact Sheet - Red Cloud", Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), Deployment Health Support Directorate, accessed November 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "Project 112/SHAD Fact Sheets", Force Health Protection & Readiness Policy & Programs, The Chemical-Biological Warfare Exposures Site, accessed November 13, 2008.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.