|US Navy testing an ASROC NDB in 1962|
So, what nuclear weapons did the British have?
|WE.177A nuclear depth bomb - inert|
According to the MoD, they only had the WE.177A nuclear depth bombs (NDB), or the official nomenclature, “Bomb, Aircraft, HE 600lb, MC (Medium Capacity)” To my knowledge, the Royal Navy did not have nuclear armed torpedoes for their submarines.
The WE.177A was designed to be dropped from either an RAF or a RN aircraft or helicopter, with either a 0.5 kt or a 10 kt warhead depending on the depth or location of the enemy forces. The WE.177A was also designed for either air burst, ground burst, or submerge burst.
|Westland Wasp carring a WE.177A|
As I am only interested in discussing the immediately availability of the NDB’s by the task force at the time of the Falklands operation, I am limiting the following list of aircrafts capable of delivering the NDB within the task force at that time. Those aircraft include for depth charge attacks only: the Westland Wessex HAS.3, the Westland Wessex HUS, and the Wessex Wasp. The Sea Harrier FAS.1 was capable of dropping the WE.177A in laydown (parachute to delay impact), retarded (time fuze to detonate after impact) to allow the jet more time to escape. Also, the HMS Bristol was able to deploy the WE.177A with its Ikara missile system.