Photo: Bulava launch. Rossiya TV channel
Second test launch of SLBM Bulava in 2010 was preliminary set on last ten days of Oct, reports RIA Novosti. Commission on flight development tests will define the date when the 13th launch carried out on Oct 7, 2010 is completely analyzed. According to plans of Russian defense ministry, two more launches will be conducted till the year is over.
First in 2010, the missile was launched on Oct 7 by Project 941 Akula SSBN Dmitry Donskoy in the White Sea. The destination was Kura Range, Kamchatka; all warheads hit the assigned targets. As for experts' preliminary appraisal, the missile flight was held normally. By the present time, thirteen test launches of SLBM Bulava has been performed, six of them were recognized successful. Last effective launch was held on Nov 28, 2008.
It is expected that the second test launch in 2010 will be carried out by SSBN Dmitry Donskoy. If it is recognized successful, the third launch will be carried out by the missile's standard carrier – Project 955 Borei SSBN Yury Dolgoruky. As was previously reported by Interfax referring to a source in Navy Main HQ, once all three launches in 2010 are successful, Bulava can be commissioned no later than in mid-2011.
R-30 Bulava will become the major weapon of Borei class SSBNs (projects 955/955A/955U). Three-staged solid-fueled missile is designed for on-move underwater launch. Flight range is about 8,000 km. The missile is capable to carry 6-10 nuclear MIRVs with yield up to 150 kilotons each and full weight of 1.15 tons.