Fleet ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs)
carry the missiles the United States uses to ensure
it has a second-strike capability in case of nuclear
war. As discussed in chapter 11, SSBNs makeup
one leg of the TRIAD. These submarines carry the
Trident (C-4 and D-5) missiles. Some of the older
submarines carry the Poseidon (C-3) missiles.
Submarines are also capable of launching the
Harpoon and Tomahawk cruise missiles discussed
previously in this chapter.
TRIDENT II (D-5)
The Trident II (D-5) (fig. 20-5) is the sixth-
generation member of the U.S. Navys Fleet
Ballistic Missile Program that started in 1956.
Since then, the Polaris (A-1, A-2, and A-3),
Poseidon (C-3), and Trident I (C-4) have served as
a significant deterrent to nuclear aggression.
The Trident II is a three-stage, solid-propellant,
inertially guided ballistic missile with a range of
more than 4,000 nautical miles (4,600 statute
miles). A considerable increase in payload . . was
incorporated into the Trident II. This was
Figure 20-5.Trident 11 (D-5) missile.