Mark 7 nuclear bomb
Mark 7 "Thor
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility...

" (or Mk-7') was the first tactical nuclear bomb adopted by US armed forces. It was also the first weapon to be delivered using the toss method
Toss bombing
Toss bombing is a method of bombing where the attacking aircraft pulls upwards when releasing its bomb load, giving the bomb additional time of flight by starting its ballistic path with an upward vector.The purpose of toss bombing is to compensate for the gravity drop of the...

 with the help of the low-altitude bombing system (LABS). The weapon was tested in Operation Buster-Jangle
Operation Buster-Jangle
Operation Buster-Jangle was a series of seven nuclear weapons tests conducted by the United States in late 1951 at the Nevada Test Site. Buster-Jangle was the first joint test program between the DOD and Los Alamos National Laboratories. 6,500 troops were involved in the Desert Rock I, II, and III...

. To facilitate external carry by fighter bomber aircraft, Mark 7 was fitted with retractable stabilizer fins. Mark 7 was a dial-a-yield capsule-type weapon with fissionable elements (uranium 235) stored in a separate container. The Mark 7 warhead (W7) also formed the basis of the 30.5 inch (77.5 cm) BOAR rocket
BOAR (rocket)
The Bombardment Aircraft Rocket, also known as BOAR, the Bureau of Ordnance Aircraft Rocket, and officially as the 30.5-Inch Rocket, Mark 1, Mod 0, was an unguided air-to-surface rocket developed by the United States Navy's Naval Ordnance Test Station during the 1950s...

, the Mark 90 Betty
Mark 90 Betty nuclear bomb
The Mark 90 nuclear bomb, given the nickname "Betty", was a cold war nuclear depth charge, developed by the United States in 1952.It had a length of 10 ft 2 in, a diameter of 2 ft 7.5 in, and a weight of 1,243 lb, and it carried a Mark 7 nuclear warhead with a yield of 5-10 kilotons...

 nuclear depth charge
Depth charge
A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...

, and MGR-1 Honest John
MGR-1 Honest John
The MGR-1 Honest John rocket was the first nuclear-capable surface-to-surface rocket in the US arsenal.The first nuclear-authorized guided missile was the MGM-5 Corporal. Designated Artillery Rocket XM31, the first such rocket was tested 29 June 1951 and the first production rounds were delivered...

 rocket and MGM-5 Corporal
MGM-5 Corporal
The MGM-5 Corporal missile was the first guided weapon authorized by the United States to carry a nuclear warhead.The first nuclear-authorized unguided rocket was the MGR-1 Honest John...

 ballistic missile
Ballistic missile
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a sub-orbital ballistic flightpath with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. The missile is only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight and its course is subsequently governed by the...

. It was also supplied for delivery by Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 Canberra aircraft assigned to NATO in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 under the command of SACEUR. This was done under the auspices of Project E
Project E
Project E was a joint project between the United States and the United Kingdom during the cold war to provide nuclear weapons to the British Royal Air Force prior to Britain's own nuclear weapons becoming available...

 - an agreement between the USA and the UK on the RAF carriage of US nuclear weapons. The Mark 7 was in service from 1952 to 1968 with 1700-1800 having been built.


A Mark 7 casing is on display in the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 hangar at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is the official museum of the United States Air Force located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base northeast of Dayton, Ohio. The NMUSAF is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum with more than 360 aircraft and missiles on display...

 in Dayton, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Dayton is the 6th largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Montgomery County, the fifth most populous county in the state. The population was 141,527 at the 2010 census. The Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 841,502 in the 2010 census...



  • Length: 15.2 ft (4.6 m)
  • Diameter: 2.5 ft (0.8 m)
  • Weight: 1680 lb (764 kg)
  • Fuzing
    Fuze Beverage, commercially referred to as just Fuze , is a manufacturer of teas and non-carbonated fruit drinks enriched with vitamins. Currently the brand consists of five vitamin-infused lines: Slenderize, Refresh, Tea, Defensify, and Vitalize...

    : airburst
    Air burst
    An air burst is the detonation of an explosive device such as an anti-personnel artillery shell or a nuclear weapon in the air instead of on contact with the ground or target or a delayed armor piercing explosion....

     or contact
  • Yield: variable yield
    Variable yield
    Variable yield — or dial-a-yield — is an option available on most modern nuclear weapons. It allows the operator to specify a weapon's yield, or explosive power, allowing a single design to be used in different situations...

     between 8 and 61 kilotons


  • English Electric Canberra
    English Electric Canberra
    The English Electric Canberra is a first-generation jet-powered light bomber manufactured in large numbers through the 1950s. The Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber through the 1950s and set a world altitude record of 70,310 ft in 1957...

     (Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

  • Douglas F3D-2B Skyknight
    F3D Skyknight
    The Douglas F3D Skyknight, was a United States twin-engine, midwing jet fighter aircraft manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company in El Segundo, California. The F3D was designed as a carrier-based all-weather aircraft. It saw service with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps...

  • Douglas A-1 Skyraider
    A-1 Skyraider
    The Douglas A-1 Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad", after a French World War I fighter...

  • Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
    A-3 Skywarrior
    The Douglas A-3 Skywarrior was originally designed as a strategic bomber for the United States Navy and was among the longest serving carrier-based jet aircraft in history. It entered service in the mid-1950s and was retired in 1991...

  • Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
    A-4 Skyhawk
    The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a carrier-capable ground-attack aircraft designed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The delta winged, single-engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated the A4D...

  • Martin B-57 Canberra
    B-57 Canberra
    The Martin B-57 Canberra was a United States-built, twin jet engine light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, which entered service with the United States Air Force in 1953. The B-57 was initially a version of the English Electric Canberra built under license. However, the Glenn L...

  • McDonnell F2H Banshee
    F2H Banshee
    The McDonnell F2H Banshee was a single-seat carrier-based jet fighter aircraft deployed by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps from 1948 to 1961. It was one of the primary American fighters used during the Korean War and was the only jet-powered fighter ever deployed by the Royal...

  • McDonnell F3H Demon
    F3H Demon
    The McDonnell F3H Demon was a subsonic swept-wing United States Navy carrier-based jet fighter aircraft. After severe problems with Westinghouse J40 engine that was ultimately abandoned, the successor to the McDonnell F2H Banshee served starting in 1956 redesigned with the J71 engine...

  • McDonnell F-101 Voodoo
    F-101 Voodoo
    The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was a supersonic military jet fighter which served the United States Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force...

  • North American FJ Fury
    FJ Fury
    The North American FJ-2/-3 Fury were a series of swept-wing carrier-capable fighters for the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Based on the United States Air Force's F-86 Sabre, these aircraft featured folding wings, and a longer nose landing strut designed to both increase angle of attack upon...

  • North American B-45 Tornado
    B-45 Tornado
    The North American B-45 Tornado was the United States Air Force's first operational jet bomber, and the first jet aircraft to be refueled in the air. The B-45 was an important part of the United States's nuclear deterrent for several years in the early 1950s, but was rapidly succeeded by the Boeing...

  • North American F-100 Super Sabre
    F-100 Super Sabre
    The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard until 1979. The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of...

  • Republic F-84 Thunderjet
    F-84 Thunderjet
    The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces proposal for a "day fighter", the F-84 flew in 1946...

External links

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