Trident I Missile Payload Station of the US Naval Undersea Museum

Trident I Missile Payload Station of the US Naval Undersea Museum

This is the top portion of a 34-foot Trident I (C4) missile. A Trident I can hold up to eight warheads called multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRVs). This one is outfitted with four simulated MIRVs. The central cylinder is the third stage rocket motor that propelled Trident I 1,500 nautical miles farther than its Poseidon predecessor. An aerospike would extend upward from the third stage after a launched missile cleared the submarine. The development goals for the Trident I (C4), the fifth-generation fleet ballistic missile, posed a challenge: increase range while maintaining size (to be compatible with Polaris-turned-Poseidon submarines). The Special Projects Office, now called Strategic Systems Programs, devised two engineering innovations to achieve this. This particular missile at the Naval Undersea was only ever used for training and never armed.

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