Text: RIA Novosti
Photo: Launch of SLBM Bulava. Moscow Institute of Thermotechnics
Russian defense industry has to produce over 150 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) Bulava in the nearest future to missilize new Project 955 Borei SSBNs and to create reserve, reported RIA Novosti referring to Igor Korotchenko, member of defense ministry's social council and editor of National Defense magazine.
"In case of successful termination of trial program in 2010-2011 and commissioning of SLBM Bulava, at least 124 missiles will be produced to arm eight Borei class strategic nuclear subs which are to be constructed under State Arms Program", said Korotchenko.
Totally, taking into account required reserve and annual training launches, about 150-170 SLBMs Bulava are needed, pointed out Korotchenko.
According to him, the only production site of Bulava is Votkinsky Zavod (Udmurtia), a plant specialized in solid-fuel missiles.
"It should be appreciated that this enterprise is seriously loaded with defense orders from Strategic Missile Forces (intercontinental ballistic missiles RS-24 Yars) and Land Forces (strategic missile systems Iskander-M)", said Korotchenko.
Therefore, to provide timely production of the first batch of SLBM Bulava for three strategic submarines (Yury Dolgoruky, Alexander Nevsky, Vladimir Monomakh; 16 missiles for each), it is necessary to revise target funding for production tools, reconstruction and upgrading of the plant's productive capacities. In addition, Votkinsky Zavod must have a serious backlog for the future, considering plans to lay down other Borei class subs in 2012-2016 which will also need missile arms, underlined Korotchenko.
Three aforementioned submarines are under construction at Sevmash shipyard in high level of completeness.
"In the long view, eight Project 955 submarines will constitute the core of Russia's naval strategic nuclear force – at Northern and Pacific fleets (four subs at each) – capable to carry 744 nuclear warheads. That is almost half of deployed warheads allowed for Russia by the recent START treaty", said the official.