A nuclear weapon is a type of weapon of mass destruction (WMD) that relies on nuclear processes for their destructive power. Nuclear weapon is one of the most destructive weapons humanity currently possessed and its proliferation is strictly controlled by international bodies such as the United Nations. While only used directly twice in the ArmA series, nuclear weapons play key roles in the plots of three campaigns.
Nuclear weapons are based on processes that happen at atomic levels. Based on research early 20th Century by some of the most prominent scientists such as Albert Einstein, it was discovered that matter consist of atoms that itself is composed of even smaller particles, electrons, protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons are held together in the central core of an atom called the nucleus (from which nuclear would be derived from) and the number of proton define what element the atom is.
Taking away or adding protons would not only change the element, but also unleash energy. The energy released is found by the famous equation E=mc2. It is based on these processes that nuclear weapons operate. The nuclei is split or forcibly merged with another to liberate massive amounts of energy in extremely short time, creating an explosion of unprecedented scale.
Nuclear weapons are by no means limited to these 'explosive' type. Newer weapons can unleash deadly radiation across cities, killing the unlucky inhabitants and rendering it inaccessible and depopulated for decades. These are called Radiation Weapons. Smaller version of it can contaminate several city blocks and may be made by terrorist organizations with the progress of technology.
The destructive power of these weapons is used by large states to intimidate their opponents and discourage similar states from starting a war between their countries. Their possible use by terrorists put nuclear weapons once again high on the list of threats to humanity.
After the discovery of the power contained within the building blocks of matter, atoms, two states seek to utilize the discoveries as weapons. Nazi Germany and the United States, separately and secretly, began to seriously study such potential before World War 2. As the German blitzkrieg swept most of Europe, Hitler based the research and production of his new, secret wonder weapon in remote, inaccessible factory in Norway. The US meanwhile, began Project Manhattan, a similar project based in the central deserts of the United States.
Allied intelligence managed to get a warning of the German program and raided the facility multiple times, forcing the Germans to relocate. It was during the transportation that most of the materials were sunk in a Norwegian lake. The German weapons program was stopped for good.
The Manhattan Project continued, and began testing in 1945. The first nuclear explosion marked the beginning of the Nuclear Age. While originally intended for Germany, the new bombs were used in Japan. Two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were leveled by the weapons. Japan surrendered not long after. The destruction of the two cities, along with the American occupation of Japan after, remained a thorny issue of Japanese-American relations until today.
The Soviets, while initially appearing to be dumbfounded and confused, had infiltrated Manhattan Project long before. One of the scientists working there was in fact a Soviet Spy. In 1949, the Soviet Union detonated their first nuclear bomb, starting one of the most terrifying aspects of the Arms Race in the Cold War.
During the Cold War, many other states developed their own, or shared nuclear weapons. NATO still has standing 'nuclear sharing' policy from the Cold War. A NATO jet can be loaded with American nuclear bombs if there is a need. Outside the two competing powers and NATO, China, India, Pakistan and South Africa started their own programs. Israel, while still denying, is thought to posses bombs starting in 1970's to deter hostile Arab states. More recently, North Korea and Iran made their nuclear ambitions clear. International treaties forbidding testing of nuclear weapons and disallowing their developments were repeatedly made as a result. South Africa also became the first country to renounce nuclear weapon.
In ArmA Series Edit
ArmA 2 Edit
The bonus campaign, Eagle Wing, is centered on an alternate story line, where United States and Russia became involved in an open war against each other in Chernarus. Predictably, not long after the US launched an invasion to retake the province of South Zagoria from ChDKZ and their Russian allies, the Russians decided to destroy the US invasion fleet using tactical nuclear weapons. This in turn led to a full-scale nuclear bombardment of Chernarus throughout the rest of the campaign, which culminated in world-wide nuclear exchange, possibly ending the world.
ArmA 2: Private Military Company Edit
The story of the singleplayer campaign in this expansion is centered on suspected Takistani WMD program under the old regime toppled during the US invasion. A team of private military contractors from the ION, Inc. was assigned to guard the United Nations weapons inspector as they searched the country for evidence of the program.
The new map included in this expansion, Proving Grounds, feature a massive artificial crater in a grassland. The crater is explained to be the result of an underground nuclear test for Takistani Army.