Red Beard tactical nuclear weapon

Red Beard was developed as a free fall tactical nuclear weapon for deployment on tactical aircraft such as the Buccaneer. It was also to be modified for use as a warhead in Blue Water and Blue Envoy. Red Beard was in service with the RAF, only being replaced by the WE.177 free fall bomb in the late 1970s.

Red Beard was euphemistically referred to as a "Target Marker B" and was available in the following yields: 15Kt in the Mk1 and 25Kt in the Mk2. It was also known as "Bomb, HE, 2000lb MC".

Royal Navy Supermarine Scimitars were celebrated carriers of Red Beard, but there was a blanket ban on Scimitars landing on carriers while carrying Red Beard, just in case the jolt of an arrested landing created a situation.

The photograph is Crown Copyright.


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