Nuclear missiles in DEFCON are used to kill enemy population or to destroy enemy units. Nuclear missiles can only be shot down by an enemy Missile Silo that is in Air Defense Mode. Nuclear Missiles can be disarmed mid-flight (so as not to kill new allies or to prevent a mistake in targeting), though there is a delay of 100 in game seconds. In the game, there are three different types of Nuclear Missiles, and their statistics are below.


The Long Range Ballistic Missile, or Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, is launched from silos and has global reach, meaning that it can hit any target around the world. Missile Silos take 240 seconds to launch one Nuclear missile, so it is advisable to launch this type of missile in conjunction with other forces as to fill in the gaps between launches and strikes.

When this type of missile is launched, an alert will be dispatched to the other players in your game, and the exact location of the silo will be revealed, meaning that opponents in the game will be able to retaliate against the silo that has launched a missile.


The Medium Range Ballistic Missile, or Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile, is fired from submarines, and has a shorter range than the LRBM/ICBM. This type of Nuclear Missile can ONLY be launched from submarines.

Upon launching this type of missile, an alert similar to the alert dispatched regarding a LRBM launch will be dispatched to any enemy players. The alert will also detail the general location of the launch area, and will not reveal the exact location of the launch site(s).

However, to launch a MRBM, a submarine will have to be surfaced, and therefore extremely vulnerable to counter attack, as the submarine has low hit points.


The Short Range Ballistic Missile, or Air-Launced Ballistic Missile, is fired from bombers and has the smallest range of the three types. The SRBM can ONLY be launched from a bomber. This form of Nuclear Missile strike is not encouraged if fighter cover can not be provided, or enemy air forces suppressed, as bombers are very vulnerable to fighter attack, due to the fact that the unit has an attack bonus against bombers.

A Nuclear Missile launch from this type of unit will not trigger any alerts to other players, which can be helpful if a stealth attack is favorable, as the enemy will have to use his or her RADAR to discover the bombers if a fighter attack is to be launched to stop the bombers from deploying their nuclear weapons against target.