Russian Navy

Media Nosed About Lack of Bulava Missiles

Media Nosed About Lack of Bulava Missiles 10.08.2012
Russian defense ministry has completely exhausted reserve of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) R-30 Bulava required to test Project 955 Borei strategic submarines, reports referring to Interfax and an insider in Russian defense industry.

According to the source, one more test launch of SLBM Bulava is needed for commissioning of the first Project 955 nuclear submarine Yury Dolgoruky. In his turn, deputy defense minister Alexander Sukhorukov said it was not planned to launch Bulava by SSBN Yury Dolgoruky any more. As for him, the next launch will be carried out by the second submarine of the project, SSBN Alexander Nevsky, which is to join Russian Navy in 2013.

The source of Interfax pointed out that for the next Bulava tests the military most likely would have to use missiles "from batch-produced reserve meant to be put into Borei-class subs". "However, decision on that matter has not been made so far", said the defense industry insider.

Ballistic missile R-30 Bulava is being developed since 1998; by now, 18 test launches were made. Official trials of the missile finished on Dec 23, 2011. It was at first planned that the missile would be commissioned along with SSBN Yury Dolgoruky till July 29, 2012. However, that deadline was postponed due to the need for additional tests of the sub's weapon systems.

Each Project 955 Borei submarine carries 16 Bulava missiles. The missile's flight range exceeds 10,000 km. Warhead consists of six nuclear reentry vehicles. One missile costs somewhat RUR 1 bln.

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