Moscow and Washington have completely liquidated a class of ballistic missiles, reports US Embassy in Moscow.
According to the embassy website, on Sept 7, 2012 the United States and the Russian Federation have completed liquidation of an entire class of submarine-based ballistic missiles.
The diplomatic mission specified that the question was RSM-52 missiles with up to 100-kiloton yield nuclear warheads. "Seventy eight missiles RSM-52 were dismantled under the 12-year long project, reports Interfax referring to the embassy.
Ballistic missile R-39 (classified as RSM-52 in START agreements, and SS-N-20 Sturgeon in NATO) is designed for destruction of strategic targets at intercontinental distances. Commissioned into Soviet Navy in 1983.
Missiles of this class are carried by Project 941 Akula nuclear-powered strategic submarines in missile system D-19; combat load is 20 missiles.
Akula-class SSBNs are the world's largest nuclear-powered submarines. In accordance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-2), due to lack of maintenance funding and shutdown of R-39 missiles production, it was decided to dismantle three out of six subs and discontinue construction of the seventh submarine, TK-210.
Submarines TK-202, TK-12 Simbirsk, and TK-13 were utilized. The US financed the dismantling process, including that under the Cooperative Threat Reduction joint Russian-American program.
TK-20 Severstal was decommissioned in 2004. TK-17 Arkhangelsk was mothballed in 2006 due to lack of missiles; her crew was dismissed.
As of today, the only Project 941 submarine in service is TK-208 Dmitry Donskoy which passed modernization under Project 941UM. The sub is used as trial platform for Bulava ballistic missiles.