About the Trident II nuclear package

FIMMCH98

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Quick question: How many W88/Mk5 warheads can actually carry the UGM-133? In the wikipedia we have 8, but I keep finding sources showing/saying 6 warheads?
 

Josh_TN

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I've always read eight, though the missiles might never have carried that many as it would have an effect on range (W88 is significantly heavier than W76). In any case, the Trident force currently is probably more likely loaded than that, given that there's about ~900 warheads reported deployed split among 240 declared launchers (12 x 20 tubes in deployed status at any one time), so the average number of warheads per missile would actually be ~4. How exactly they are loaded is of course unknown; it is likely that W76 mod 2 missiles carry only 1-2 warheads and that other warheads carry more like 4-6 depending on the envisioned target set. W88 makes up roughly 400 of the deployed warheads with W76 mod 1/2 representing the rest.
 

bobbymike

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The W88 buy got cut WAYYYYY back. Only about 10% of the planned buy was actually produced.
Hopefully the W93 gets a good long run and we soon get a new ICBM warhead as well. I’ve been searching for a nuke modernization document that did show expected start date of a new ICBM warhead development I seem to recall about halfway through the W87-1 program.
 

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