United Kingdom Aerospace and Weapons Projects
This site attempts to catalogue and describe (briefly) the major weapons systems projects undertaken in the United Kingdom since 1945. Most of these didn't see the light of day, but it shows the level of activity in that period.
The "Colour Codes" or probably more accurately "Rainbow Codes" were initiated by the Ministry of Supply in the late 1940s and lasted until 1958. The aim was to obscure the nature of projects in development. Any-one familiar with Dr. R.V. Jones' "Most Secret War" will be aware of how Jones and his colleagues worked out how many of the German radar and blind bombing systems worked from their names, eg "Wotan".
The Ministry of Supply were no doubt aware of this and came up with codenames based on the colours of the rainbow followed by a noun. Apparently colours not based on the colours of the rainbow were either mistakes or lacked official status.
Colour based names allocated after 1958 may be in-house names used by companies as a hang-over from the ministry, who changed to AA.nnn designations after the MoS was dissolved and such projects came under the aegis of the MoD.
Click here for a list ofcredits and a bibliography. Thanks to all who have help in the compilation of this site.
The information here is also available as a database for Palm OS machines.
Contact Chris at with any questions, additions and comments.