Tactical nukes are the second type of nuclear weapons that were introduced in Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword. The tactical nuke has a range of 4 tiles and can be loaded onto a missile cruiser, a submarine, a city, or a fort. The damage it deals is equal to the regular ICBM. The requirements for building them are exactly the same as for an ICBM, though they are exactly 50% cheaper to build.


While in reality no country has ever fired a tactical nuke, it is probable that most nuclear empowered states have some kind of weapon in this category, for example the "nuclear cannons" of the US, utilizing large guns to fire nuclear projectiles of small destructive power. While the whole idea behind the tactical nuke is to have a small enough bomb to fire on the battlefield without harming friendly armies, the tactical nuke is in fact an SLBM/IRBM, standing for Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile and Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile.


  • Even though the damage dealt by both missiles is equal, the ICBM's mushroom cloud is considerably larger than one made by a Tactical nuke.