All news

Russia’s top brass nixes submarine missile launch over faulty munition during drill

The Defense Ministry said the reports on the extraordinary situation with the missile had nothing to do with reality

MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The launch of a ballistic missile from the nuclear-powered submarine Ryazan was canceled during the Thunder-2019 strategic command and staff drills over a faulty munition, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Vedomosti earlier reported that the Ryazan nuclear-powered sub had fired an R-29R ballistic missile towards the Chizha test range, but the second missile failed to exit the silo launcher and the submarine returned with it to the naval base. As the paper said, this anomaly could have occurred due to a system failure on the underwater cruiser.

"After assessing the information about the technical condition of a missile on the submarine Ryazan received immediately before the launch, a decision was made against using it in a test-launch. In no way did the cancelled launch of this missile affect the successful results of the Thunder strategic command and staff drills," the ministry said in a statement.

The Defense Ministry said the reports on the extraordinary situation with the missile had nothing to do with reality.

The drills were aimed at checking the system of the armed forces’ command and control "rather than the capability of launching the maximum number of missiles," the ministry’s statement says.

"A final decision on the maximum number of intercontinental ballistic missile launches is made from the Russian Armed Forces’ command and control center, judging by the specifics of a notional operational situation and special combat training missions to inflict damage on a simulated enemy," the ministry explained.

All the assignments set forth during the drills "were fully accomplished and the missiles reached their designated training targets, striking the notional marks and confirming their stated characteristics," the ministry said.

Russia’s top brass earlier informed foreign military attaches at a news briefing "about the maximum number of launches of various types of missile systems, which could have been involved during the drills [it was stated that two R-29R missiles were planned to be launched towards the Chizha range]," the statement says.

Strategic command and staff exercise Thunder-2019

The Thunder-2019 strategic command and staff exercise took place on October 15-17 and involved about 12,000 troops, 213 missile launchers of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, 105 various aircraft, including five strategic missile-carrying bombers, 15 surface ships and five nuclear-powered submarines, and also 310 items of military and special hardware.

On October 17, during a drill held under the command of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin, ballistic missiles were test-launched.

As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported, strategic missile-carrying submarines of the Northern and Pacific Fleets test-fired ballistic missiles from the Barents and Okhotsk Seas towards the Kura range in Kamchatka in the Russian Far East and the Chizha range in the Arkhangelsk Region in northern Russia.