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Yury Dolgoruky submarine to test-fire Bulava missile with full missile set aboard

September 15, 2014, 14:22 UTC+3

“This will be the first launch of Bulava missile from the submerged position by the Project 955 (Borey) missile-carrying nuclear submarine with a full set of 16 Bulava ICBMs on its board,” source says

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Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine

Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, September 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from the Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine scheduled for October will mark an important stage in testing the submarine’s missile system, a source in the Russian Navy headquarters said on Monday.

“This will be the first launch of the Bulava missile from the submerged position by the Project 955 (Borey) missile-carrying nuclear submarine with a full set of 16 Bulava ICBMs on its board,” the source said.

“The launch will test the submarine’s operation after the test-firing. Earlier, all Borey-class submarines went into the sea with only one missile aboard, which was launched,” the source said.

The source confirmed plans to conduct one more Bulava launch in November from another Borey-class strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Alexander Nevsky.

“As of September 13, the plan for November stipulates the launch of this missile from the Alexander Nevsky also with the aim of testing the reliability of the Bulava missile and confirming the stable operation of the submarine’s missile system,” the source said.

As in October, one missile will be launched from an underwater position in Russia’s White Sea to hit a designated target at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Far East, the source said.

“The Bulava launch in November will be the third and the last this year. Two other launches of this missile are scheduled for 2015,” the source said.

Russian Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on September 10 after the successful first test-firing of the Bulava missile from the same-class Vladimir Monomakh submarine that two more Bulava launches from two strategic Borey-class submarines would be held in autumn.

“In October and November, the Navy will perform two more missile launches from two missile-carrying submarines equipped with ballistic missiles,” the Navy chief said at the time.

Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile

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.

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