The Trishula missile, NATO reporting name "Trident", is a multi-purpose MIRVed nuclear TBM that can be launched from surface vessels or submarines. The missile received its name both because of its three independant reentry vehicles and its threefold engagement capacity against land- or sea-based surface targets, submerged submarines and aerial targets.
The Trident carries three independant reentry vehicles, each fitted with a tactical nuclear warhead equivalent of 200t TNT, adding up to a total of 600t explosive power per missile, equal to the typical World War III-era Soviet nuclear missile. The missile serves as a method of attack against aerial, ground and underwater targets, thanks to its smart fuse.
The Trident Missile's reentry vehicles have an elaborate fusing system: The reentry vehicle has a radar system mounted in its nose, which scans the target area and is coupled with an altometer. If the scan returns solid ground underneath the warhead, the fuse is set to detonate upon impact. If the scan returns soft ground (water) underneath the warhead, the fuse is set to detonate when the altometer indicates the warhead (which is sealed against liquids) has sunk to a certain depth, thus serving as a nuclear depth bomb. Other variants include timed fuses or proxy fuses instead of the altometer, especially the latter of which is arguably more effective in ASW.
This unique system allows the Trident to be used against land targets for nuclear strikes as well as the deployment against enemy ships or submarines. Due to the destructive power of the nuclear warheads, the Trident can destroy entire battlegroups when fired at a single ship or submarine of the group, but the effectiveness against surface craft is generally diminished if no direct hit is scored and the warhead detonates in deep water, and vice versa, the damage to submarines is neglectable even if a direct hit on a ship destroys the entire presence above the water surface. The Trident can also be used as a nuclear SAM, and while the initial damage of a hit by the missile itself can be dodged by heavier aircraft, the missile is also proxy-fused to set of its MIRVs, which independantly lock onto targets in the area. While unable to home into their targets, due to low speed, a nuclear explosion in proximity of the enemy aircraft is usually enough to take down all aircraft in a wide radius.
- Type: MIRVed Sea-Launched Nuclear Theater Ballistic Missile
- Purpose: Ship-to-ship, Deployment of Nuclear Depth Bombs, Nuclear SAM, tactical nuclear strikes
- Sea Lancer
- Tactical Nuclear Device
- Nuclear Missile
- Nuclear Depth Bomb
- Trident I
- Trident II
- MIRVed Missile
- Tactical Ballistic Missile
|Black Lance | Erne | Glaive | Redeye II | Trident | White Arrow|
|Barracuda | Loon | Mako | Orca | Rainmaker (WW2) | Sailfish | Trident (India) | Trident (Inutoland)|