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Looking like a scaled-down Blue Danube, Red Beard was a tactical atomic bomb produced to OR1127 for the RAF and RN. Redesign of the high explosive lenses permitted a much smaller warhead. It was introduced in 1961. It was possibly issued as a stop-gap measure to the V-force in 1961 after the Project 'E' US Mk-5 bombs were returned to the USAF pending the introduction of substantial numbers of British-produced megaton weapons. Consideration was also given to using Red Beard for second strikes. Red Beard was also the weapon of choice for the V-force in overseas theatres but this subject remains highly sensitive resulting in little available information. Red Beard was 13ft long, 2.5ft in diameter and weighed 2000 lb. Red Beard was withdrawn in 1971 and replaced by WE177A. Red Beard could be carried by all the V-bombers. Valiants, Mk1 Vulcans and Mk1 Victors were modified or built with a new integrated wiring harness that enabled carriage of Red Beard, the US Mk-5 and Yellow Sun (except Yellow Sun/Valiant). Non-Blue Steel Mark 2 Vulcans and Victors initially had the same fit. The small picture shows Vulcan B1 XA890 being loaded with a dummy Red Beard in 1961.

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