Yup, "boat" or "the boat" are common ones (never "ship").
The accuracy CEP of the current D5 guidance sytem (Mk 6) is unacceptable for conventional weapon use. Improvements would have to be deployed to the
guidance system and/or to the re-entry bodies (RBs; RVs if you're Air Force).
In theory, I believe that conventionally-armed D5 missiles could and would play a critical role in covering high-value targets within the Prompt
Global Strike (PGS) concept, if they were to be implemented.
The downside of a solid-fuel post-boost control subsystem is the reduced overall footprint size -- This is the overall area within which all the
target aimpoints are contained. Submarines will never go with a liquid fueled PBCS due to safety reasons.
Some of the variables: Will the targets be pre-planned or adaptively-targeted? If adaptively targeted, would the crews be using EAM retargeting or
would they be issued standard target change data tapes, magneto-optical discs, radio room downlink, whatever...
How many exercises and tactical launches would be required to validate the concept and end-to-end response time? Someone has to make an EAM and get
it approved. The boat's radio guys and the EA team have to receive / decode the EAM. The Skipper, XO and EA team members have to authenticate the
execution order. The missile techs, Weps and Aweps in MCC have to input and verify the targeting data. The crew has to man battlestations. The
guidance systems have to spin-up. And the missile has to fly it's entire flight profile before it releases it's payload.
Now you have to look at what targets we're willing to "uncover" for missile-to-footprint reassignment for these new conventional sorties. Are
alert boats on both coasts going to be made available for conventional target packages? Are they going to be assigned to mod-alert boats only? Are
these strikes going to be considered an OPLAN 8044 (SIOP) execution???
Holy crap, I just pissed myself.
Just don't be a sheep and start baaa'ing about the co-existing of conventional arms amongst nuclear. You'd see a fire-control system software
revision, at a minimum -- Maybe even new hardware interlocks. There'd be non-nuclear verification with radiacs, there'd be micro-managing, and
there'd be more layers of safety abstraction than would even be needed.
No doubt Lockheed would be thrilled that we'd be spending more money on missiles we're actually going to shoot. I'd put-up with the extra gas
generator replacements and fired-tube cleanings if I thought I was part of actually hitting something besides water.
If there was a chance that the targets were going to stand still for a couple hours, you can count that a Trident crew would be more than happy to go
tactical. It'd just be an expensive shot.
So would you rather hope a 30mph submarine is at the launch point and toss a few subsonic missiles with short ranges, or would you rather magically
blast your opponent with eight, mach-10 warheads from outer space?
Besides, who ever said that the warheads needed to hit different aimpoints? SmackSmackSmackSmackSmackSmackSmackSmack.