Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Fleet Ballistic Missiles of the United States Navy

Missile Type

 Polaris   (A-1)

 Polaris   (A-2)

  Polaris    (A-3)

Poseidon  (C-3)

Trident I  (D-4)

Trident II (D-5)

Length (feet)

28.5

31

32.3

34

34

45.8

Diameter (inches)

54

54

54

74

74

83

Launch Weight (pounds)

28,000

32,500

35,700

34,000

73,000

130,000

Powered Stages

2

2

2

2

3

3

Warhead/Yield (kilotons)

[W47] 600

[W47] 800

[W58] 200

[W68] 100

[W76] 100

[W88] 475

[W76] 100

Guidance System

Mk1

Mk1

Mk2

Mk3

Mk5

Mk6

Approximate Circular Error Probable

2

2

.5

.25

 0.12–0.25

0.06

Number of Warheads

1

1

3 (MRV*)

10 (MIRV*)

8 (MIRV)

10–14 (MIRV)

Nominal Range (nautical miles)

1200

1500

2500

2500–3200

4000

4000+

Year First Deployed

1960

1962

1964

1971

1979

1989

*MRV, or multiple reentry vehicle, indicates multiple nuclear payloads for a single target.

*MIRV, or multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle, indicates multiple nuclear payloads capable of striking multiple targets.                                                         

─Randall Fortson, NHHC Histories and Archives Division, February 2021

_______________________________________________

Sprinardi, Graham. From Polaris to Trident: The Development of U. S. Fleet Ballistic Missile Technology, 7. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

United State Department of the Navy. Facts and Chronology: Polaris-Poseidon-Trident, 20. Washington, DC: Strategic Systems Programs, U.S. Navy, 2015.    

Published: Wed Mar 24 13:11:49 EDT 2021