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Russia's Bulava missile to be test-launched by two nuclear subs in autumn 2015

September 26, 2014, 13:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Test-launches planned for next autumn will be fourth and fifth after an abortive test-firing in September 2013
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Vladimir Monomakh

Vladimir Monomakh

© Courtesy of 'Rubin' Central Design Bureau of marine facilities

MOSCOW, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. First and second Borei-class strategic nuclear-powered submarines Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh will test-launch the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile at a firing range in northern Russia after arrival at a permanent base in the city of Vilyuchinsk, Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula, an informed source in Russia’s Navy General Staff told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

“According to the plan, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh should test-launch an ICBM Bulava each from underwater position in the area east of the Kuril Islands in the Pacific at firing range Chizha on Kanin Nos Cape in Arkhangelsk region [northern Russia],” he said.

Test-launches should be made several days after submarines arrive to Kamchatka.

“These test-launches at the northern firing range are planned to check whether the route is suitable for Bulava’s flight trajectory in both directions - from the north to the east and back,” the source said. “After Bulava ICBMs are test-fired both submarines will go on combat duty and will start performing combat patrolling missions in planned areas of the world ocean,” the source added.

Test-launches planned for next autumn will be fourth and fifth after an abortive test-firing in September 2013. “So, the order the defence minister gave in the previous year to make at least five Bulava test-launches after the failed test-firing will be fulfilled,” the source added.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry has taken the final decision to transfer Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh from the Northern Fleet to the Pacific Fleet in August-September 2015, the best time in terms of icy, weather and other conditions for such heaviest inter-fleet under-ice crossings, the reliable source in the Navy’s General Staff said.

The time of crossing is mainly caused by the requirement that the very submarines and infrastructure for their basing should be prepared. Earlier this week, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Commander of the Troops in the Eastern Military District Sergei Surovikin must put the progress of infrastructure construction under tough control with a weekly report.

Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh are first and second Project 955 Borei nuclear submarines. Nevsky was brought into naval service at the end of the previous year, Monomakh will enter it in December. Each Borei submarine can carry 16 cutting-edge intercontinental ballistic missiles Bulava with multiple independently targeted warheads with a fire range reaching 11 thousand kilometres depending on the number of blocks in the warhead. Bulava-armed Borei submarines make the backbones of Russian marine strategic nuclear forces up to 2025-2030, Defence Ministry plans.

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