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MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. The heavy nuclear-powered submarine The Dmitry Donskoy will stay operational at least till 2020 and participate in the testing of upgraded inter-continental ballistic missile Bulava-M, a source in the military-industrial complex told TASS.
"The question of scrapping The Dmitry Donskoy will not be raised till the end of 2019. It will remain part of the Navy and be used for pop-up and flight tests of the upgraded Bulava missile, being developed at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology," the source said.
Bulava was designed to arm the strategic nuclear-powered Borei submarines of the upgraded project Borei-A, the source said.
TASS has no official confirmation of this.
Earlier, a source in the Russian defense industry said The Dmitry Donskoy would be used for testing missiles and other technologies till 2017.
It is the sole nuclear powered submarine of project 941 (Akula) still in service in the Russian Navy. In 2003-2010 it carried out 14 test launches of the Bulava missile. Half of them were successful.