Defense Ministry: Seaborne Bulava ICBM demonstrates required precision in test launch

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has lauded the Wednesday test launch of a seaborne Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov has lauded the Wednesday test launch of a seaborne Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile.

"The warheads were delivered to the designated area with a required precision. The missile launch was detected by the Pechora post of the missile attack warning network. We have thus made a comprehensive check of that [radar] station as well," he said.

It was reported earlier that the strategic nuclear submarine K-535 Yury Dolgoruky of Project 955 (Borei) on Wednesday successfully conducted its fifth launch of Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) at Kura firing range in Kamchatka.

"The launch was made from Yury Dolgoruky submarine in submerged position. The missile flight trajectory parameters were duly observed, and the warheads successfully reached Kura firing range in Kamchatka," Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told Interfax.

The lead submarine of Project 955 Yury Dolgoruky was laid at Sevmash shipyard in 1996, launched in April 2007 and assigned to the Navy on January 10, 2014 together with Bulava missile system. It belongs to the 31st submarine force division of the Northern Fleet home-based in Gadzhevo.

The first test launch from Yury Dolgoruky and the 15th of Bulava was made on June 28, 2011. Two months later, on August 27, the maximum range of the missile was tested. On October 28 the sub again fired Bulava. The 18th launch of two Bulava missiles was made on December 23, 2011.

A total of 21 launches of Bulava have been conducted since the beginning of testing, eight of which failed. The previous successful launch was made in the White Sea on September 10 from Vladimir Monomakh nuclear submarine. According to an Interfax-AVN source, the final and third launch of Bulava will be conducted in November by K-550 Alexander Nevsky.

R30 3M30 Bulava (SS-NX-30 according to the NATO classification) is the latest Russian three-stage solid-fuel missile designed for advanced nuclear submarines of the Borei project.

The missile is capable of carrying up to ten hypersonic independently-targeted nuclear warheads capable of changing their flight trajectories and hitting targets at a range of up to 8,000 kilometers. Bulava is expected to form the core of the future grouping of Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces until 2040-2045.

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