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“It is planned that in late November the Alexander Nevsky will fire the Bulava from the Barents Sea at the Kura test range on the Kamchatka Peninsula,” the source said. The launch is due on November 28-30.
The Alexander Nevsky is to fire the only missile that will be on board. In October, the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine carried out the launch with a full load of Bulava missiles on board.
“Compared with the lead vessel of the project, the Yuri Dolgoruky, which is in operational service of the fleet, the Alexander Nevsky, the first series vessel of the project, continues conducting tests, including deep-water ones, that’s why arming it now with 16 intercontinental ballistic missiles is premature and even dangerous,” the source said.
The Alexander Nevsky will receive the full load in 2015 before being put into service in the Pacific Fleet.
The launch of Bulava, conducted in early September 2013 from the Alexander Nevsky submarine, failed because of a defect in the mechanism that extends the nozzle from the missile’s body.
According to NOTAM, a notice filed with aviation authorities to alert of potential hazards, Russia has closed the area for flights over a certain zone of the Barents Sea.
The zone will be closed from 11:30 a.m. Moscow time (0830 GMT) on November 28 until 11:30 p.m. Moscow time (2030 GMT) on November 29.
Apart from that, a flight route will be closed over the Kamchatka Peninsula, in Russia’s Far East, near the Kura test range. The ban enters in force the same time as over the Barents Sea.
In early November, Russia’s Defence Ministry rejected media reports that the test launch of Bulava planned until year-end has been postponed. The ministry’s official spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the missile will be launched from the submarine until the end of this year. The spokesman added that in line with the plan for 2015, two launches of sea-based Bulava are to be conducted.