Topic: GS3- Science and tech
- Russian officers were spotted in China during Putin’s visit carrying a “nuclear briefcase.”
What is the Nuclear Briefcase?
- It is a part of the mechanism for authorizing nuclear attacks and is also known as the “Cheget.”
- A component of a secure communication system for transmitting nuclear strike orders.
- Carried by the Russian President while traveling abroad.
- Similar briefcases are carried by the Chief of General Staff and the Minister of Defence.
Examples of Activation in the Past:
- In a crisis situation, a nuclear briefcase has only ever been “opened” once, in 1995.
- In 1995, Russian officials mistook a rocket launch on the coast of Norway for a hostile American missile.
- Leaders in Russia received the briefcases to prepare a response.
- After some time, it was apparent what kind of launch it was, and the forces stood down.
Functioning of the System:
- Russia’s electronic command-and-control systems get activated in a crisis when radar operators think there may be an enemy danger.
- The information is passed through a number of hands before arriving at the three people carrying the nuclear briefcases.
- It first passes through the radar operator, then travels through the intricate Kavkaz network which is a complex network of cables, radio signals, satellites, and relays.
Similar Systems in other countries:
- The “Presidential Emergency Satchel,” as it is known, is the satchel used by the American president.
- It was established under the presidency of John F. Kennedy in order to assure prompt verification of orders for nuclear strikes during the Cold War.