A Navajo missile, which would have carried the W41 warhead
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory|
W41 was the designation of an American nuclear warhead, which was investigated during the late 1950s. Intended for use in the SM-64 Navaho cruise missile, the program was cancelled in 1957. The program was brief, considered at the same time as the TX-29, WX-15-X1 and XW-21 warheads. All were eventually replaced as the proposed Navaho warhead by the W39. The W41 was an adaptation of the B41 (Mk-41) thermonuclear bomb which was produced in large numbers and served in stockpile for 15 years.
A warhead version of the B41 thermonuclear bomb, development of the W41 began in November 1956 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Investigated as a possible warhead for the SM-64 Navaho, a cruise missile then in development, work on the warhead continued through July 1957, when the project was cancelled.
Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, conspiracy theories began that claimed a W41 nuclear bomb would be used to seal the oil well, despite the use of a nuclear weapon in the role having been officially rejected.
- Hansen 1995
- Polmar and Norris 2009, p.53.
- Cochran et al. 1987, p.10.
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- Revkin, Andrew C. (3 June 2010). "No Surprise: U.S. Rejects Nuclear Option for Gulf Oil Gusher". The New York Times Blogs.
- Cochran, Thomas B.; Arkin, William M.; Hoenig, Milton M. (1987). Nuclear Weapons Databook: U.S. nuclear warhead production. Nuclear Weapons Databook 2. Pensacola, FL: Ballinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0-88730-124-7.
- Hansen, Chuck (2007). The Swords of Armageddon: U.S. Nuclear Weapons Development Since 1945 (PDF) (CD-ROM & download available) (2 ed.). Sunnyvale, California: Chuklea Publications. ISBN 978-0-9791915-0-3.
- Polmar, Norman; Norris, Robert Stan (2009). The U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: A History of Weapons and Delivery Systems Since 1945. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-55750-681-8.