7, 8. FLEET Ballistic Missiles
Lockheed Missiles & Space Company (LMSC) began development of
the first Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) Polaris A1 in 1956
and has managed lie program through three succeeding models, the
Polaris A2 and A3 and the Poseidon C3 (pictured). Polaris, a
two-stage solid propellant missile with a nuclear warhead, was
the first global peace keeper to go on station. Polaris A1 was
28.5 feet long, weighed 30,000 lbs., had 1200 nautical mile
range. A2 was 30 inches longer, weighed more, but increased
range to 1500 n.m. Polaris A3 is 1 ft. longer than A2, weighs
35,000 lbs., and has 2500 n.m. range. Poseidon, 34 ft. long and
6ft. in diameter compared to 4½ft., weighs more than twice as
much as its A1 ancestor and has about the same range as the A3 -
plus MIRV, multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles.
Each nuclear powered FBM submarine carries 16 missiles.
Trident I will have the same dimensions as Poseidon but will
have greater range. This is important not only for the number of
targets it will be able to reach, but also because it allows the
submarine to stand off a greater distance from targets, reducing
the probability it will be detected and attacked. Submarines
carrying Trident I can be on station while cruising an ocean
area several times greater than if they were carrying Polaris or
Poseidon. Trident I is scheduled to be operational along with
the new Trident submarine in late 1970s.