Friday, 27 July 2012

Russia Plans to Test more Bulava Missiles in Fall

Russia would beef up its Navy and continue to test the new Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile in coming months, Navy Commander Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.

"We are going to launch the Bulava this fall from the Alexander Nevsky nuclear submarine. If the launch fails, we will continue," Chirkov told local media.

If the tests were successful, the Bulava missile would be formally put into service, he said.

The commander confirmed the Russian Navy would put on duty up to 15 new warships and submarines by the end of 2012.

He said the Navy was acquiring nuclear strategic submarines armed with cruise missiles, diesel-powered submarines, destroyers and other warships.

The Bulava's carrier, the fourth-generation Alexander Nevsky, conducted its maiden exercise in June. The 170-meter long submarine can carry 16 Bulava missiles. The Navy confirmed it had put the Bulava into service following Alexander Nevsky's voyage.

The Bulava, Russia's most advanced three-stage solid fuel missile, is expected to the cornerstone of the country's nuclear arsenal. It is capable of carrying 10 warheads and has a range of 8,000 km.

Russian forces tested the missile 18 times prior to the decision to deploy it. Seven out of these tests failed.

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