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Bulava Tests Boost Russia's Confidence Against BMD

The missile (pictured) was launched from a Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine, at 5:22 p.m. Moscow time (1:22 p.m. GMT).

Washington (UPI) Oct 04, 2005
The Kremlin hopes that new weapons systems, including a sea-launched intercontinental ballistic missile successfully tested last week, will help restore Russia's geopolitical prominence, Cybercast News Service reported.

The new-generation Bulava missile was launched Sept. 27 from a Northern Fleet strategic nuclear submarine in the White Sea, flying to a firing range on the Kamchatka peninsula, 12 time zones to the east.

The solid-fuel missile can carry up to 10 individually guided nuclear warheads and has a range of up to 5,000 miles, CNS said. The Itar-Tass news agency reported Sept. 30 that the warheads of the Bulova ICBM test-launched by the St. George the Victorious nuclear-powered submarine from the Sea of Okhotsk had hit its targets in Cape Kanin Nos, in the White Sea, the Russian Defense Ministry's press-service said.

"The RSM-50 submarine-based missile was launched from submerged position from a depth of about 30 meters (100 feet)," the press service said.

This is the first launch of an inter-continental ballistic missile by Russia's Pacific Fleet this year. The previous missile launch from the same submarine was carried out on Nov. 2, 2004."

Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov Wednesday hailed the successful test, saying the armed forces would deploy the new weapon by the end of 2007.

Bulava missiles have been designed for Russia's new Borey-class nuclear submarines, two of which are being built and will be commissioned in 2006 and 2007.

The test-launch came on the same day as President Vladimir Putin used a live call-in television show to tout Russia's new strategic missile systems.

"We are developing and will provide the army with new high-precision strategic missile systems that are unique and unlikely to appear earlier in any other country," he said.

Putin described the new missiles as "hypersonic and capable of changing course and height during flight." They would have "no rivals" and be "practically invulnerable," he added.

Moscow has long stressed that it has the capability to overwhelm a U.S. missile defense umbrella due to the size of its ballistic missile arsenal.

After President George W. Bush pulled out of the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty in order to pursue the missile defense program, Russia announced it was no longer bound by previous agreements that prohibited missiles with multiple warheads.

Having multiple warheads would reduce a weapon's vulnerability to missile defense systems which are designed to intercept and destroy one warhead at a time, CNS said.

A year ago, Russia said it planned to develop nuclear weapons which other nuclear powers did not yet have and were unlikely to develop.

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Northrop Grumman Completes First Hardware and Software Integration For SBIRS
Azusa CA (SPX) Oct 04, 2005
Northrop Grumman has announced the completion of mechanical and electrical integration work for a key element of the nation's next-generation missile warning system, the payload for the first Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous-orbit satellite.

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