Mark 6 nuclear bomb

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Mark 6 nuclear bomb at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

The Mark 6 nuclear bomb was an American nuclear bomb based on the earlier Mark 4 nuclear bomb and its predecessor, the Mark 3 Fat Man nuclear bomb design.

The Mark 6 was in production from 1951 to 1955 and saw service until 1962. Seven variants and versions were produced, with a total production run of all models of 1100 bombs.

The basic Mark 6 design was 61 inches (150 cm) in diameter and 128 inches (330 cm) long, the same basic dimensions as the Mark 4. Various models of the Mark 6 were roughly 25% lighter than either the Mark 4 or Fat Man, and weighed 7,600 to 8,500 pounds (3,400–3,900 kg).

Early models of the Mark 6 used the same 32-point implosion system design concept as the earlier Mark 4 and Mark 3; the Mark 6 Mod 2 and later used a different, 60-point implosion system.

Various models and pit options gave nuclear yields of 18, 26, 80, 154, and 160 kilotons for Mark 6 models.


There are several Mark 6 casings on display:


Mark 13[edit]

The Mark 13 nuclear bomb and W13 missile warhead were developed as higher-efficiency Mark 6 successors, the same size and basic configuration as the Mark 6 but utilizing an improved 92-point implosion system. The Mark 13 was cancelled in August 1954 and the W13 cancelled September 1954, in both cases without ever seeing production service.

Mark 18[edit]

The Mark 18 nuclear bomb was a follow-on to the Mark 6 and Mark 13, utilizing a fissile pit assembly with around 60 kilograms of HEU and delivering a yield of 500 kilotons, the largest pure-fission (non-thermonuclear) bomb design ever developed by the US. Mark 18 bombs were eventually recycled into Mark 6 Mod 6 bombs after thermonuclear weapons were deployed in quantity. The Mark 18 was tested once in Operation Ivy King.

XM1 Atomic Demolition Munition[edit]

An Atomic Demolition Munition, the XM1 was developed. Few details on the system exist.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Glen George McDuff (2018-08-22). Army Nukes (Report). Los Alamos National Lab. p. 32. OSTI 1467305.

External links[edit]