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CCAFS Navaho (Large).jpg
A Navajo missile, which would have carried the W41 warhead
Type Nuclear warhead
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Designer Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Designed 1956–1957
Number built 0

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.[1]


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,[1] work on the warhead continued through July 1957, when the project was cancelled.[2][3]

Conspiracy theories[edit]

Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, conspiracy theories began that claimed a W41 nuclear bomb would be used to seal the oil well,[4] despite the use of a nuclear weapon in the role having been officially rejected.[5]


  1. ^ a b Hansen 1995
  2. ^ Polmar and Norris 2009, p.53.
  3. ^ Cochran et al. 1987, p.10.
  4. ^ "The Relief Well is a Cover-Up". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  5. ^ Revkin, Andrew C. (3 June 2010). "No Surprise: U.S. Rejects Nuclear Option for Gulf Oil Gusher". The New York Times Blogs.