Russia's troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) will go into serial production, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.
On June 28, a Bulava was launched from the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea. The launch, the 15th in the Bulava's history, was successful "by all parameters," Col. Igor Konashenkov said, adding that it hit a designated target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region some 6,000 kilometers to the east.
"The Bulava has taken off. That's good news. We understand that in this case we can put the missile into serial production," Serdyukov said at a meeting with Russian defense observers.
"We've achieved results; we now can put the Bulava on the Yury Dolgoruky," he added.
Only seven of Bulava's previous 14 launches were officially declared successful, although some military experts say that many of those were also flawed.
Some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures is considerably larger, with Russian military expert Pavel Felgengauer suggesting that of the Bulava's 12 test launches, only one was entirely successful.
Despite several previous failures, officially blamed on manufacturing faults, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines.
MOSCOW, July 1 (RIA Novosti)