The W76 warhead and Mk-4 reentry vehicle (cutaway diagram) - Los Alamos National Labs image

The W76 is a United States thermonuclear warhead. It was manufactured from 1978-1987, and is still in service as of 2015.

The W-76 is carried inside a Mk-4 re-entry vehicle. U.S. Trident I and Trident II SLBM/Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles may carry W76 warheads as one warhead option, along with W88 warheads in the Trident II.

The dimensions of the W76 and Mk-4 reentry vehicle which carries it are not known; only the warhead's weight of 362 pounds (164 kg) has been disclosed.

The W76 has a yield of 100 kilotons.

The upgraded W76-1/Mk4A will be used in both American and British submarines.[1]

Extensions to the service lives for 800 of the warheads was approved by the US government in 2000, then later increased to 2,000. The project is scheduled for completion in 2018.[2]

The warhead is currently the most numerous weapon in the US nuclear arsenal.[3] Having replaced the Poseidon SLBM warhead, the W68, in that capacity.

See also


  1. Kristensen, Hans. "British Submarines to Receive Upgraded US Nuclear Warhead." FAS, 1 April 2011.
  2. Pincus, Walter, "Strategic Plan Extends Life Span Of Nuclear Arsenal", Washington Post, 19 May 2011, p. 17.
  3. http://www.nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/W76.html

External links

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