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    Solomonov to keep working on Bulava development - Roscosmos

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    The former head of the research institute that designed the Bulava and Topol-M ballistic missiles will most likely retain his post as general designer, the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) - The former head of the research institute that designed the Bulava and Topol-M ballistic missiles will most likely retain his post as general designer, the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Tuesday.

    Yury Solomonov occupied the posts of general director and general designer of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT) before quitting in July after a series of unsuccessful Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) tests.

    "I am certain that Yury Solomonov will keep his post as general designer of the Bulava and Topol-M missiles. We have told the new leadership of the institute to focus on work rather than on cadre reshuffling," Anatoly Perminov, the head of Roscosmos, told a news conference in Moscow.

    A special selection commission elected on Monday Sergei Nikulin, the head of the Moscow-based mechanical engineering plant Vympel, as the winner of the contest to fill the position of the MITT general director. His appointment is pending upon approval by Roscosmos.

    Perminov said the MITT, which successfully developed the Topol-M land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, will continue work on the development of the Bulava SLBM.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM has suffered six failures in 11 tests. Although the results of a probe into the failures have not been announced, experts have so far blamed the poor quality of missile components provided by a large number of sub-contractors as the main cause of the unsuccessful tests.

    The missile carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has an estimated range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on new Borey class nuclear-powered strategic submarines.

    Russia's top brass expects the Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

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