Updated 11:13 a.m. Moscow time
MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has successfully test-fired a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from its Borey-class Vladimir Monomakh nuclear-powered submarine, the Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
The missile was launched from a location off northwest Russia’s White Sea and hit a designated target at the Kura test range on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula.
The launch is part of state tests of weapons and systems of the Vladimir Monomakh nuclear-powered submarine, ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
The three-stage Bulava SLBM carries up to 10 independent warheads and has a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).
The Borey class, the Russian Navy’s first post-Soviet ballistic missile submarine design, will form the backbone of the fleet’s strategic nuclear deterrent force after older boats are retired by 2018. Russia expects eight of the boats to enter service by 2020.
The missile — developed specifically for the new Borey-class — has suffered a string of failures in past tests.
Last September during state trials of the Aleksander Nevsky nuclear-powered submarine a Bulava rocket experienced a malfunction. Following this incident Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to hold five additional launches of Bulava missiles.
Despite the test failures, the Russian military insisted there is no alternative to the Bulava as the main armament for Russia’s new Borey-class strategic missile submarines.