Mark 12 nuclear bomb

Mark 12 nuclear bomb
Mark-12 nuclear bomb

The Mark-12 nuclear bomb was a US designed and manufactured lightweight nuclear bomb which was built starting in 1954 and saw service from then until 1962. For unknown reasons, the design was nicknamed "Brok".

The Mark-12 was notable for being a large leap ahead in light weight and physical size compared to prior implosion-type nuclear weapons - The overall diameter was only 22 inches, compared to the immediately prior Mark-7 at 30 inch diameter. The comparative volume of the implosion assembly is only 40% as large as the Mark-7's.

There was a planned W-12 variant which would have been a nuclear warhead for the RIM-8 Talos missile. The W-12 was cancelled prior to introduction into service.



An FJ-4B carrying a Mk 12 bomb (shape) over China Lake.

The complete Mark-12 bomb was 22 inches in diameter, 155 inches long, and weighed 1,100 to 1,200 pounds. It had a yield of 12 to 14 kilotons.


The Mark-12 has been speculated to have been the first deployed nuclear weapon to have used beryllium as a reflector-tamper inside the implosion assembly (see nuclear weapon design). It is believed to use a spherical implosion assembly, levitated pit, and 92-point detonation.

Appearance in fiction

Though the weapon went out of service more than 40 years ago, it resurfaced in a fictional role in Tom Clancy's 1991 book The Sum of All Fears, where the book plot included an Israeli copy of the Mark-12 being lost by accident in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War in southern Syria, near the Golan Heights, and then recovered by a terrorist organization.

See also

External links

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