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    Russia to test launch Bulava ICBM in 2 days - defense source

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    Russia is to hold another test launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile in two days time, a source in the Russian defense industry said on Monday.

    MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is to hold another test launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile in two days time, a source in the Russian defense industry said on Monday.

    "The test launch of the latest intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava, which is due to be held in the next two days from the Dmitry Donskoi [Typhoon-class] strategic nuclear-powered submarine, will not be the final test for the entry into service of the missile," the source said.

    "Next year we plan three or four more launches, including from [Russia's first Borey-class] strategic nuclear submarine the Yury Dolgoruky," he said.

    The Bulava will not be put into service without successful test launches from the Yury Dolgoruky, the source added.

    The fourth-generation Yury Dolgoruky was built at the Sevmash plant in northern Russia and was taken out of dry dock in April 2007. It is due to be equipped with Bulava ballistic missiles upgraded from Topol-M (SS-27) missiles.

    The submarine is 170 meters (580 feet) long, has a hull diameter of 13 meters (42 feet), a crew of 107, including 55 officers, a maximum depth of 450 meters (about 1,500 feet) and a submerged speed of about 29 knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles.

    The latest test of the sea-launched Bulava missile took place on November 28. It was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea, effectively engaging its designated target on the Kamchatka Peninsula about 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) east of Moscow.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30), developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

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