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MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The strategic nuclear-powered submarine Vladimir Monomakh on Wednesday successfully test-fired a Bulava ballistic missile from the White Sea to a Far Eastern firing range, a Russian Defense Ministry official told ITAR-TASS.
The Bulava was fired from an underwater position. The launch is part of tests of weapons and systems of the nuclear-powered submarine Vladimir Monomakh. The missile warhead units successfully reached the Kura firing range on Kamchatka, the ministry’s spokesman Igor Konashenkov said.
State commission members were aboard the submarine during the firing. The operation of the commander and the crew were praised as highly professional and competent, he added. It was the first launch from Monomakh.
On Tuesday, a military industry source told ITAR-TASS that Vladimir Monomakh left Severodvinsk to fire a Bulava.
Vladimir Monomakh is the third submarine in the series of Project 955 (Borei). The ship is planned to be handed over to the Navy in December 2014. The construction began in 2006.
Plans to launch a Bulava changed more than once this year. Initially, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said Monomakh would fire a Bulava in August-September and Yuri Dolgoruky (the head submarine in the series) in November. Later, Alexander Nevsky (the first ship of the series) and Vladimir Monomakh were planned to carry out launches in late September-October. A source of the Navy General Staff told ITAR-TASS in late August that Yuri Dolgoruky was planned to be the first to fire a Bulava.
Dolgoruky was commissioned for service in 2012. It was followed by Nevsky. The fourth, Knyaz Vladimir, is under construction. The fifth, Knyaz Oleg, was laid down in July 2014.
Bulava R-30 is a Russian submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile designed for the new Borey-class submarines, eight of which are expected to enter service by 2020.
The three-stage solid-fuel missile is capable of carrying from six to ten nuclear warheads. The missile's maximum range is up to 9,000km.
The Bulava development began in 1998. Eight of 19 test launches carried out since 2005 were successful. Others failed due to malfunctions of the control system, engines of second and third stages and warhead separation. The missile's commissioning was delayed because of the failures.
After six consecutive successful launches in 2010-2011, Bulava was expected to be commissioned. However, the previous launch from the Alexander Nevsky submarine on September 9, 2013 was unsuccessful. The missile fell in the Arctic Ocean because of failure of the engine control system of the second stage.