Although the primary weapon for the Vulcan was nuclear, Vulcans could carry up to 21 x 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs in a secondary role. The only combat missions involving the Vulcan took place in the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina, when Vulcans, in the Black Buck operations flew the 3,380 nautical miles (6,300 km) from Ascension Island to Stanley. There were three missions to bomb the airfield at Stanley; two to attack Argentine radar installations with missiles and two missions were cancelled.
Five Vulcans were selected for the operation: their bomb bays were modified; the flight refuelling system that had long been out of use re-instated; the electronics updated; and wing pylons designed, manufactured, and fitted to carry an ECM pod and Shrike anti-radar missiles where the Skybolt hardpoints remained in the wings The engineering work began on 9 April with the first mission on 30 April–1 May 1982.
The first raid cut the runway at Stanley with a single bomb hit (from the 21 bombs dropped, a maximum of two had any chance of hitting the runway because it had been decided to attack from an angle for a greater chance of success). The second raid failed to arm the bomb load before release, so no damage was done. The third raid missed the runway completely and did a small amount of collateral damage around the runway, blowing up a jeep and causing one or two casualties.
At the time these missions held the record for the world`s longest distance raids.