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    Brian Burnell's nuclear weapons history site under construction.

    Updated 01 January 2014.

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    The format is alphabetical, an A-Z of projects.

Octopus



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Operation Tigress



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Option M



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OR.203
Blue Moon



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OR.240



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OR.340



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OR.1001
Top Secret Bomb
Mk.1 Atom Bomb



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OR.1002
Top Secret Bomb



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OR.1006
Top Secret Bomb



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OR.1059
Blue Boar



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OR.1089



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OR.1097
Expendable bomber



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OR.1122
Blue Danube Trainer



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OR.1123
Green Cheese



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OR.1127
Red Beard



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OR.1131 Red Hebe



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OR.1132
Blue Steel



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OR.1136
Yellow Sun



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OR.1138



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OR.1139
Blue Streak



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OR.1140



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OR.1141
Red Snow



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OR.1142



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OR.1144
Short-Case Bomb



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OR.1147



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OR.1149



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OR.1153



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OR.1154



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OR.1156



Contents

Genesis

Operational Requirement 1156 pre-dated the Air Staff Operational Requirement for an Improved Kiloton Bomb, OR.1177, (1) the first draft being produced in January 1958(2) at the instigation of the Commander-in-Chief of RAF Coastal Command.(3) Prior to that, an Air Ministry Working Party set up to recommend future policy on airborne anti-submarine detection and weapons had concluded early in 1957(4) that only a nuclear depth bomb could provide certainty of killing the new generations of fast, silent nuclear-powered submarines being developed in the Soviet Union. The Working Party recommended that a nuclear depth bomb be developed for all versions of Shackleton aircraft, at that time RAF Coastal Command's front-line long-range maritime patrol bomber. OR.1156 was to be met initially by an adaptation of the Red Beard warhead,(5) and later proposals were considered using a Una warhead,(6) later renamed Ulysses.(7)


Although there is no hard evidence, and what follows here is speculation, it is entirely possible that the Ursula warhead was intended for the OR.1156 nuclear depth bomb project. Although little is known of Ursula, it is known to be shorter and be of greater diameter than its contemporary, Ulysses.(8) Neither of these characteristics would be detrimental to the OR.1156 anti-submarine weapon, given the capacious bomb bay of the Shackleton or its successors, and Ursula would meet the dimensions specified in the first draft of OR.1156.(9) Una was known to be a thermonuclear design based on Red Snow, the anglicised US W-28, using the Tony fission trigger, an anglicised US W-44.(10) Given Ursula's design ancestry in Una, and its design, dimensional and weight similarities to Una it is entirely possible that Ursula was the warhead of choice for OR.1156 at one point in time.


The first draft of OR.1156 specified a yield of 30-50 kt, (11) and it is now known that the Red Beard warhead never achieved those figures; and there were numerous handling, storage and temperature limitation environmental issues with the weapon. (12) Similar issues as those that resulted in OR.1177 for an Improved Kiloton Bomb. As an interim measure, yield requirements for OR.1156 were lowered to 5-10 kt in the period to 1965, (13) and 15 kt in the five year period to 1970. (14) The Red Beard warhead could have met those requirements, but with no possibility of an increase to meet the full requirement of 30-50 kt, and no doubt explains the search for an alternative warhead in Una or Ursula.

Ultimately, given the pressures on resources, the Coastal Command requirement was rewritten around the US Mk-101 Lulu Project N weapon for issue to RAF Shackleton MR2 and MR3 squadrons.(15) Unlike most other nuclear strike aircraft, Shackletons and their Nimrod successors were equipped to carry mixed loads of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons, typically a mixture of NDBs and homing torpedos.(16) A further requirement for a British successor to the Project N weapon, renumbered OR.1178 became a joint Naval Staff/Air Staff requirement and subsumed into OR.1177 and deployed with the Royal Navy in 1969 as WE.177A.(17)



Shackleton MR3, US Mk-101 Lulu NDB and long-range fuel tank. Photo: National Archives, London.

The Royal Navy deployed WE.177A in its intended role as a fixed-wing strike weapon and as a helicopter-borne anti-submarine weapon. However, neither RAF Coastal Command long-range maritime patrol Shackletons or its successor, the Nimrod, ever deployed this weapon. There were plans to do so, but never implemented; the 79 WE.177A weapons planned for their use being allocated elsewhere.(18) From 1961(19) Shackletons were supplied with a stock of 36 US Navy Project 'N' weapons maintained for their use at RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall,(20) and Sigonella US NAS, Sicily.(21) Shackletons carried the Mk-101 Lulu NDB, and were able to carry two plus other weapons.(22) Nimrods could carry two B-57 NDBs, but were allocated only one per aircraft.(23) Use of the American weapons was restricted to the NATO area and temporary deployments of Coastal Command Shackletons and Nimrods to the Middle and Far East were without nuclear weapons.(24) A primary reason for wanting a UK-owned NDB for these aircraft was to free them from that and other restrictions on their operational flexibility. Nimrods based in Cyprus on NATO duties had to first fly the 894 nm to Sicily to collect their weapons from American custody.(25)

Shackleton MR3, two US Mk-101 Lulu NDBs, Mk.30 torpedo in the centre, two Mk.44 torpedos at the rear with five marine markers. The examples shown are probably the non-expendable training variants the Mk-102 or Mk-103. Photo: National Archives, London.

Where can I see one?

There are no examples of the US Mk-101 Lulu anti-submarine nuclear depth bomb to OR.1156 existing in museums in the UK, as far as is known, although examples exist in the United States at the National Atomic Museum, Alberquerque, NM. Operational Requrement OR.1178 was subsumed into OR.1177, which led to WE.177A a multi-purpose weapon incorporating a depth bomb function. There are numerous examples of WE.177A in museums. See the WE.177 pages for details. A static Shackleton MR3 maritime patrol bomber can be seen at IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK. Another static example restored to MR2 standard is at classicflight.com (formerly Air Atlantique) at Coventry Airport, UK.

A US Mk-101 Lulu NDB supplied under Project N for use by RAF Shackleton and Dutch Navy P2 Neptune maritime patrol bombers. OR.1156 was ultimately rewritten around this weapon. Its RAF designation was Bomb, Aircraft, AS, 1200 lbs MC. Diameter: 18 in. Length: 92.4 in. Weight: 1200 lbs. Yield: 11 kt. Photo: nuclearweaponarchive.org.
One US Mk-101 Lulu NDB on left, and two 18" Mk.30 homing torpedos on a bomb carrier and RAF K-type bomb trolley. Photo: National Archives, London.
Rear view of one US Mk-101 Lulu NDB on right, two 18" Mk.30 homing torpedos on a bomb carrier and RAF K-type bomb trolley. Photo: National Archives, London.
    Mk-101 Lulu NDB at the National Atomic Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The holes in the tail facilitate rapid sinking. Photos: Mike Fazackerley.

References

Footnotes

  1. back TNA AIR 2/17322 E3A p1.               OR 1177: improved kiloton bomb. 1959-1960. Dated 18 Aug 1959.
  2. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p1.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
    back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p2.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
    back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p3.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
    back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p4.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
    back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p5.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
  3. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E6B p1.               Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
  4. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E5B p4.               Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
    back TNA AIR 2/13692 E5B p8.               Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
  5. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p1, para 6   Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
    back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p2, para 7.  Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156). 1956-1958.
  6. back Dr Richard Moore, The Real Meaning of the Words: a Pedantic Glossary of British Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear History Working Paper No 1.
      First published by University of Southampton Mountbatten Centre for International Studies where Dr Moore was formerly a Visiting Research Fellow; now a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies in the Dept of War Studies at King's College, London. See OR.1156, OR.1178, NDB, Una, Ulysses and WE.177.
    back TNA AIR 2/17322 E69A p1.             OR 1177: improved kiloton bomb. 1959-1960.
  7. back TNA ADM 1/30991 E7 p2.               An improved kiloton bomb. 1959-1961.
  8. back TNA AVIA 65/1862 E16 pps 23, 24. ASR 1176 and 1177: nuclear weapon requirement.  1959-1963.
  9. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p1.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156).   1956-1958.
  10. back TNA AIR 2/17322 E25A.                 OR 1177: improved kiloton bomb.  1959-1960.
    back TNA AIR 2/17322 E69A p1.             OR 1177: improved kiloton bomb.  1959-1960.
  11. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p2.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156).   1956-1958.
  12. back TNA AIR 2/17322 E40A p2.             OR 1177: improved kiloton bomb.  1959-1960.
    back TNA AIR 2/17322 E40A p3.             OR 1177: improved kiloton bomb.  1959-1960.
  13. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p2.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156).   1956-1958.
  14. back TNA AIR 2/13692 E26A p2.             Nuclear depth charge (OR 1156).   1956-1958.
  15. back TNA AVIA 65/2082 E7A p2.             Project E: mixed weapon load; Shackleton MR Mk 3. 1965-1970.
    back TNA AVIA 65/2082 E7A p3.             Project E: mixed weapon load; Shackleton MR Mk 3. 1965-1970.
  16. back TNA AVIA 65/2082 E7A p15.           Project E: mixed weapon load; Shackleton MR Mk 3. 1965-1970.
  17. back TNA DEFE 32/18 E25 p2.      Chiefs of Staff Committee: Secretary's standard file. 1969.
  18. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E62.                    Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p4.                Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p8.                Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p11.              Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  19. back TNA AVIA 65/2082 E7A p10.           Project E: mixed weapon load; Shackleton MR Mk 3. 1965-1970.
    back Norris, Burrows, Fieldhouse. Nuclear Weapons Databook: Vol 5: British, French and Chinese Nuclear Weapons, p63-4.
      Published by The Westview Press, Oxford, 1994. ISBN 08133 16111 softback, 08133 1612X hardback. This unofficial source that is demonstrably less accurate at times, puts the service entry later at 1965 and quantity at 60 through to 1987 when quantity declined to 40 until 1992 when quantity was nil. Official sources at TNA AIR 2/18210 E62 put the figures at 36 US weapons increasing to 72 plus 7 spares when UK-supplied WE.177A weapons became available from 1971-72, which they never did.
  20. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p4.                Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA DEFE 24/691 E28 p6.              Polaris, Poseidon and Holy Loch. 1970-1971
  21. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p4.                Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  22. back TNA AVIA 65/2013 p2.       Project E: mixed weapon load CA release 1200lb for Shackleton MR Mk 2. 1966-1969.
    back TNA AVIA 65/2013 p17.       Project E: mixed weapon load CA release 1200lb for Shackleton MR Mk 2. 1966-1969.
    back TNA AVIA 65/2013 p18.       Project E: mixed weapon load CA release 1200lb for Shackleton MR Mk 2. 1966-1969.
  23. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E62.                    Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  24. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p11.              Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  25. backGreat Circle Mapper.                       Shortest great circle route Akrotiri to Sigonella.

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OR.1157



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OR.1159



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OR.1160



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OR.1161



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OR.1165



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OR.1166



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OR.1167



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OR.1168



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OR.1171



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OR.1172



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OR.1176



Contents


Description

OR.1176 was an Air Staff Operational Requirement first issued in 1959 for a boosted fission warhead with two selectable yields for a low-kiloton (0.5 and 10kt) Improved Kiloton Bomb and as a boosted fission primary to trigger the fusion secondary of a tactical thermonuclear bomb with yields up to 300kt.. Both were intended to replace Red Beard. The OR was later merged with a Naval Staff Requirement for a replacement for carrier-borne Red Beard weapons, with an added capability as an anti-submarine Nuclear Depth Bomb (NDB). To the combined Air Staff and Naval Staff requirement was then added OR.1178, a requirement for an airborne anti-submarine Nuclear Depth Bomb (NDB) to be carried by RAF Coastal Command aircraft. OR.1176 and the separate requirement OR.1177 for the warhead and casing as a complete weapon led to the weapon known as WE.177, and a fuller account can be found on the WE.176 and WE.177 pages.


Where can I see one?

There are no known examples available for public viewing in museum collections, or if any survive at all. However, the casing itself is another matter. Of these, there are numerous sealed steel training rounds in museums in the UK and the United States. In addition there are at least two sectioned, former operational alloy rounds in UK museums. Of these only one is open to the general public. A listing is below.

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OR.1177



Contents

Description

OR.1177 was an Air Staff Operational Requirement first issued in 1959 for an Improved Kiloton Bomb with factory-set yields from the low kilotons up to 300 kilotons, intended to replace Red Beard. The OR was later merged with a Naval Staff Requirement for a replacement for carrier-borne Red Beard weapons, with an added capability as an anti-submarine Nuclear Depth Bomb (NDB). To the combined Air Staff and Naval Staff requirement was then added OR.1178, a requirement for an airborne anti-submarine Nuclear Depth Bomb (NDB) to be carried by RAF Coastal Command aircraft. OR.1177 and the separate requirement OR.1176 for the boosted-fission warhead used as a primary for the thermonuclear secondary needed for the higher yields, and as a stand-alone warhead for the lower yield versions, led to the weapon known as WE.177. A fuller account can be found on the WE.176 and WE.177 pages.




Where can I see one?

References

Footnotes

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OR.1178

Contents

Genesis

OR.1178 was an Air Staff Operational Requirement for an airborne anti-submarine nuclear depth bomb (NDB) to be carried by long-range maritime patrol bombers of RAF Coastal Command, initially the current aircraft the Shackleton. The requirement originated as OR.1156. A naval requirement was also issued by the Admiralty's Gunnery Division for a NDB for both fixed-wing and rotary-wing embarked aircraft numbered GDA.10 and the Air and Naval Staffs agreed to merge these into a joint requirement. Some time later the separate Air Staff requirement for RAF Coastal Command, OR.1156 was renumbered OR.1178 before also being merged into a single common requirement OR.1177 that eventually resulted in a multi-purpose strike weapon and NDB, WE.177A.

The Royal Navy deployed WE.177A in its intended role as a fixed-wing strike weapon and as a helicopter-borne anti-submarine weapon. However, neither RAF Coastal Command long-range maritime patrol Shackletons or its successor, the Nimrod, ever deployed this weapon. There were plans to do so, but never implemented, the 79 WE.177A weapons planned for their use being allocated elsewhere.(1) UK-based RAF Nimrods continued to rely on a stock of 36 US Navy Project 'N' weapons maintained for their use at RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall, (2) and Sigonella US NAS, Sicily. (3) Shackletons could carry two Mk.101 Lulu NDBs, (4) Nimrods could carry two of the Mk-101 successor weapon, the B-57 NDB, but were allocated only one per aircraft. (5) Use of the American weapons was restricted to the NATO area and temporary deployments of Coastal Command Shackletons and Nimrods to the Middle and Far East were without nuclear weapons.(6) A primary reason for wanting a UK-owned NDB for these aircraft was to free them from that and other restrictions on their operational flexibility. Aircraft based in Cyprus on NATO duties had to first fly the 894 nm to Sicily to collect their weapons from American custody. (7)

RAF dissatisfaction and future plans

As early as 1966, before either the RAF or the Royal Navy took delivery of the first of their WE.177A bombs,(8) some RAF staff officers were expressing dissatisfaction with its NDB performance, claiming that its kill ratio was 40% at best, that its sink rate was poor, and that its performance as an NDB was unduly compromised by an engineering design that was skewed to meet the land strike function. They urged senior staff officers to begin planning for a smaller, slimmer, and better, successor NDB. A weapon whose performance as an NDB would not be degraded by a build-standard necessary to survive laydown in a land-strike role. A process that is well-described as a controlled crash-landing. A new NDB should have a fast sink rate, a kill ratio of at least 75%, and able to be used in shallow coastal waters (unlike the US B-57 NDB deployed on RAF Nimrod) and be in service by the mid-1970s.

RAF staff officers claimed that warhead design had by 1966 advanced considerably,(9) that advances in miniaturization of electronics and other control mechanisms were such that a new weapon could be smaller and lighter with reliability so improved that the weight penalties of control systems duplication could be much reduced. Referring to the WW2 improvements in kill-ratio that led to advances in attacking submerged submarines with smaller, ahead-firing weapons of the Hedgehog type, with their smaller warheads fired in salvoes to detonate in a pattern, they pressed for development of a much smaller, lower-yield NDB to be launched in a salvo to explode in a cluster pattern. Such a weapon, with yield measured in hundreds of tons rather than kilotons, would be deployable on the smallest surface vessels and aircraft and be more usable in limited war, with fewer political constraints. RAF senior ranks were urged to start project and design studies quickly; although the outcome was that financial pressures prevailed, and WE.177A served on in the ASW role with the Royal Navy until withdrawal in1992.

Where can I see one?

There are no examples of the anti-submarine nuclear depth bomb to OR.1156 or OR.1178 existing. The Operational Requirement was subsumed into OR.1177, which led to WE.177A a multi-purpose weapon incorporating a depth bomb function. There are numerous examples of WE.177A in museums. See the WE.177 pages for details.

References

Footnotes

  1. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E62.          Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p4.      Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p8.      Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p11.    Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  2. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p4.      Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
    back TNA DEFE 24/691 E28 p6.    Polaris, Poseidon and Holy Loch. 1970-1971.
  3. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p4.      Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  4. back TNA AVIA 65/2013 p2.          Project E: mixed weapon load CA release 1200lb for Shackleton MR Mk 2. 1966-1969.
    back TNA AVIA 65/2013 p17.        Project E: mixed weapon load CA release 1200lb for Shackleton MR Mk 2. 1966-1969.
    back TNA AVIA 65/2013 p18.        Project E: mixed weapon load CA release 1200lb for Shackleton MR Mk 2. 1966-1969.
  5. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E62.          Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  6. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E63 p11.    Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970.
  7. backGreat Circle Mapper.      Shortest great circle route Akrotiri to Sigonella.
  8. back TNA AIR 2/18509 E20A p1.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
    back TNA AIR 2/18509 E29B p7.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
    back TNA AIR 2/18509 E25A p2.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
  9. back TNA AIR 2/18509 E25A p2.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
    back TNA AIR 2/18509 E29B p6.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
    back TNA AIR 2/18509 E29B p7.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
    back TNA AIR 2/18509 E29B p11. Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.
    back TNA AIR 2/18509 E25A p2.   Future nuclear weapon system requirements. 1965-70.

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OR.1182



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OR.1187



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OR.1195



Under construction.

Contents

Genesis

OR.1195 was an Air Staff Operational Requirement written in 1963(1) to specify an urgent requirement for a 'stop-gap' low-level laydown weapon to be in service by 1966, to remain in service as a strategic weapon until circa 1970 when the new UK Polaris strategic nuclear deterrent force was expected to be fully ready. In the event, this 'stop-gap' weapon, known variously as Weapon X, WE.177B, the 950 lb bomb , and officially in RAF nomenclature known as Aircraft, Bomb, HE 950 lb, MC, No 1, remained in service until 1995 in theatre roles as a sub-strategic tactical weapon, long after the V-bombers were retired.

By the early 1960s it had become clear that improvements in Soviet air defences, and in particular SAM missile technology, that the high-flying V-bombers were vulnerable, and that few would reach their targets in the USSR. To survive, the V-bombers would need to fly a high-low-high mission profile, hugging the ground before penetrating into Soviet airspace to avoid radar detection. To do that the bombers required a suitable weapon, and their existing strategic bomb, Yellow Sun Mk.2, could not be used in a low-level role. Yellow Sun's electrical power was generated by two RAM air turbines and the weapon needed to be released at a minimum altitude of circa 25'000 ft to give a time of fall sufficient for its airburst radar fuzing to activate. A thermonuclear weapon that could be released in the laydown role and as low as 50 ft was needed. No such weapon existed in the RAF inventory, so OR.1195 specified a weapon that could be developed quickly in a crash programme by modifications to an existing nuclear weapon programme.

Beginning in 1959 the RAF and Royal Navy had a programme to develop a new tactical bomb as a Red Beard successor,(2) the Improved Kiloton Bomb to OR.1176 (a boosted fission warhead), and OR.1177 (the complete boosted fission bomb) known eventually as WE.177A. By 1963 this project was in an advanced stage on the cusp of production start-up. The boosted-fission warhead (PT.176) had been developed and tested, and it was planned to be used as one of a 'family' of weapons for other projects, as the thermonuclear primary, or 'trigger' for a UK Polaris thermonuclear warhead, possibly as a primary for the army's planned Blue Water SSM; and similarly as a primary for the Skybolt strategic air-launched ballistic missile before its cancellation in favour of Polaris. For a new weapon to meet OR.1195 it was but a short quick step to adapt these designs using the already-developed primary. Add a modified secondary already selected and prepared for Skybolt and Polaris warheads, and a 'stretched' casing and already developed arming and fuzing systems for the Improved Kiloton Bomb. The result emerged as WE.177 Type B, a strategic laydown thermonuclear bomb yielding 420 kt.

In the OR.1195 weapon the full fuzing options needed for an anti-submarine nuclear depth bomb role were not required and were deleted. The version of the PT.176 primary used in OR.1177 was identified as Katie, and the secondary (derived from a modified US W-59 secondary) was identified as Simon. That same secondary was used in modified form for ET.317, the Polaris A3T warhead; the Polaris A3TK Chevaline warhead; and WE.177C.

A fuller account of the OR.1195 weapon can be found on the WE.176 and WE.177 and Weapon X pages.

Quantities produced.

A total of 53 were produced.(3) 48 were deployed to six Vulcan B2 squadrons in the UK and Cyprus(4) with 5 spare weapons and 6 inert surveillance rounds.(5) None were assigned to Victor B2 aircraft which carried the Blue Steel weapon instead, modified for release at low altitude. One example was retired early after a mishap. The remaining 52 were expected to be handed-down to TSR2 aircraft until its cancellation. Instead, after the Vulcans were retired, WE.177B was carried by Tornado squadrons until 1995. The Type B could also be carried by RAF Buccaneer S2 bombers, although there is no evidence known to this writer of any being assigned to Buccaneer squadrons.

Costs

WE.177B    

    Warhead fabrication cost Jan 1963 ****                  

£75'000

    Inflation adjusted warhead fabrication cost to Jan 2013 ****                  

£572'314

    Bomb carcase fabrication cost Jan 1963                  

£20'000

    Inflation adjusted bomb carcase fabrication cost to Jan 2013                          

£152'617

    Total estimated weapon cost Jan 1963 ****                          

£95'000

    Inflation adjusted total weapon cost to Jan 2013 ****                          

£724'931

     Cost per weapon based on 4kg Pu-239 inflation adjusted to 2013 prices.

£2.556 million      

     **** Not including fissile material cost already paid for, recycled from earlier weapons.
     Data from the National Archives, London, AVIA 66/10 E1 page 7 and AB 16/3878 Appx 4 page 1.

Photo Gallery

Where can I see one?

References

Footnotes

  1. back TNA AVIA 65/1834 E41 p1. Maintenance of nuclear deterrent. 1965-1971.
  2. back Dr Richard Moore, The Real Meaning of the Words: a Pedantic Glossary of British Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear History Working Paper No1.
       First published by University of Southampton Mountbatten Centre for International Studies where Dr Moore was formerly a Visiting Research Fellow;  now a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Science and Security Studies in the Dept of War Studies at King's College, London. See OR.1156,  OR.1178, NDB, Una, Ulysses and WE.177.
  3. back TNA AIR 2/18210 E62:  Nuclear weapons policy. 1969-1970. RAF Plan R.
  4. back Mike Fazackerley data: 1966  Vulcan @ Waddington, Cottesmore.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1966  Vulcan @ Waddington, Cottesmore.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1968  Vulcan @ Waddington, Cottesmore.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1969  Vulcan @ Waddington, Akrotiri.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1970  Vulcan @ Waddington, Akrotiri, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1971  Vulcan @ Waddington, Akrotiri, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1972  Vulcan @ Waddington, Akrotiri, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1973  Vulcan @ Waddington, Akrotiri, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1974  Vulcan @ Waddington, Akrotiri, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1975  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1976  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1977  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1978  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1979  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1980  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1981  Vulcan @ Waddington, Scampton.
    back Mike Fazackerley data: 1982  Vulcan @ Waddington.
  5. back Dr John R Walker, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Arms Control & Disarmament Unit. Journal of the Royal United Services Institute, Oct 2011.

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