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    Russia to launch serial production of Bulava ballistic missile -1

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    Russia has made a decision to start serial production of its new Bulava-M sea-launched ballistic missile, following a successful test launch in late June, the Russian Navy commander said Sunday.

    (Recasts, adds additional information in paras 5-6)

    SEVASTOPOL, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has made a decision to start serial production of its new Bulava-M sea-launched ballistic missile, following a successful test launch in late June, the Russian Navy commander said Sunday.

    The scheduled launch was conducted June 28 from the submerged Dmitry Donskoi, a Typhoon-class ballistic missile nuclear submarine, in the northern Russia's White Sea, and the missile reached its target at the Kura testing grounds on the Kamchatka Peninsula, about 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) east of Moscow.

    Admiral Vladimir Masorin said the latest test launch was important to make a decision on the ballistic missile production, adding that the concluding test launches would be made from the Yuri Dolgoruky fourth-generation strategic nuclear submarine.

    The national defense program envisions the deployment of the Bulava on nuclear submarines. The missiles are expected to become the mainstay of the Russian Navy's strategic nuclear forces in decades to come.

    Masorin said Russia would hold two more test launches of the Bulava missile in 2007 and would complete tests in 2008.

    "We have no doubts that the Bulava-M missile system will be tested successfully. Huge intellectual labor and financial resources have been invested in the creation of this system," Masorin said.

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