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MOSCOW, August 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The state-of-the-art strategic submarine cruiser Yuri Dolgoruky successfully test launched the second intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava on Saturday. The ICBM Bulava was test launched successfully for the first time at the maximum distance from the White Sea to the Pacific, a spokesman for the press service of the Defence Ministry told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
“The ICBM Bulava was test launched at 7.20 a.m. Moscow time on Saturday from the nuclear-powered submarine missile carrier Yuri Dolgoruky under the command of Captain First Rank Vladimir Shirin from the White Sea,” he said. “The test launch was made from the underwater position of the missile carrier as part of state test launches of the submarine missile carrier at the maximum distance of the missile,” the spokesman said.
“The warheads of the missile were brought at the scheduled time to the Pacific with the sea navigation safety rules observed,” the spokesman said.
The submarine crew “showed high professionalism and morale” in this combat mission, he underlined.
The Saturday test launch of the ICBM Bulava became the 16th test launch and the second successful consecutive test launch by the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine cruiser. The state committee for Bulava test launches told Itar-Tass on August 12 that at most two Bulava test launches, including a missile salvo, are scheduled before the end of this year. If both test launches are successful the sea-based missile system D-30 (the missile and the submarine) will be put into service in the Russian Navy.
“The 16th test launch of an ICBM Bulava is scheduled for the last decade of August, and a salvo launch of two ICBM Bulava is planned in autumn or even in December,” a source in the state committee for Bulava test launches told Itar-Tass.
“In any variant of test launches if a Bulava salvo launch is successful this missile system will be put into service of our Navy,” the source said. “The Yuri Dolgoruky is completely ready for combat missions. Now it is the matter of a successful salvo launch of two ICBM Bulava,” the source said.
The state committee did not confirm the reports that the second Project Borei 955 strategic nuclear-powered submarine Alexander Nevsky will be involved in the Bulava launches. “This submarine cruiser is undergoing startup tests with the sea trial to follow them. The Alexander Nevsky will start to make missile test launches not earlier than in the spring of 2012,” the source said.
The Yuri Dolgoruky has made the first successful test launch of the ICBM Bulava on June 28, 2011 (this successful test launch became the 15th one in the series of Bulava test launches). The Bulava test launches were earlier made from the reequipped Project 941 Akula submarine Dmitry Donskoy. This Bulava test launch was successful in all parameters and its warheads reached the target area in Kamchatka.
Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said at a meeting with military experts of leading Russia media outlets two days after the Bulava test launch that the serial production of the ICBM Bulava can be launched. “The Bulava test launch was successful, it is a good piece of news. We realize clearly that this model of the missile can be put in serial production. We achieved the result, now the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine missile carrier can test launch the ICBM Bulava,” Serdyukov underlined.