Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jun 29, 2007
Russia's Navy has successfully tested a new Bulava sea-launched ballistic missile in the White Sea, a Navy spokesman said Thursday. "A [simulated] warhead reached the testing grounds [on the Kamchatka Peninsula] on schedule," Igor Drygalo said. The scheduled launch was conducted 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.
The national defense program envisions the deployment of the Bulava on nuclear submarines beginning in 2007. The missiles are expected to become the mainstay of the Russian Navy's strategic nuclear forces in decades to come.
However, three missile tests failed late last year, despite previous successful launches.
Anatoly Perminov, head of the Federal Space Agency, said in December of last year that it would take about 12 to 14 test launches to bring it into readiness.
The R-30 Bulava (SS-NX-30) ballistic missile was developed at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. It can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads and has a range of 8,000 kilometers (about 5,000 miles).
The Bulava ballistic missile, which is adapted from the Topol-M (SS-27) ICBM, will be deployed on Russia's new Borey-class nuclear missile submarines.
The first Borey-class nuclear submarine, Yury Dolgoruky, was launched April 15 at the Sevmash plant in the northern Arkhangelsk Region.
Two other Borey-class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are currently under construction at the Sevmash plant, with a fourth submarine on the future production schedule list.
earlier related report
The missile was fired from the same submarine, the Dmitry Donskoi, that was used for a test which failed last October. Two other tests have failed in recent years.
The test comes amid Russian anger at US plans to locate a powerful missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic as well interceptor missiles in Poland to combat what it says are threats to global security.
Bulava missiles have a range of 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) and can be equipped with up to 10 individually targetted nuclear warheads.
According to the Russian press, Moscow first tested a Bulava in September 2005 and conducted a first successful test in December of that year. At least 10 more Bulava tests are in the pipeline for 2008, Russian news agencies said.
Bulavas are designed to stock Russia's new Borei class of submarine and Moscow has spoken of their ability to pierce any potential missile shield.
On May 29, Russia announced a successful test of the RS-24, another new intercontinental missile with multiple warheads that Moscow has presented in response to Washington's missile defence shield ambitions.
Russia has also begun mass production of Topol-M strategic missiles, the land-based equivalent of the Bulava, the country's First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Tuesday.
"We are now moving on to a new and very important rearmament stage for both our nuclear strategic forces and our tactical complexes," he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
"These are not prototypes but mass production," he said.
"I am talking of stationary Topol-M missile complexes but also of mobile ones which can be fitted with different types of warhead, as well as Iskander-M missiles."
The Topol-M is known to NATO as the SS-27 and is a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) which can be deployed on both stationary and mobile launch platforms.
It is 22.7 metres (74 feet) long with a diameter of 1.95 metres and weighs 47 tonnes.
The Iskander-M is a short range tactical missile known to NATO as the SS-26.
Ivanov announced in July 2006 that by 2015 the Russian armed forces would be equipped with 69 Topol-M missiles and about 60 Iskander-M weapons.
Source: RIA Novosti
Source: Agence France-Presse
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France Test Launches Sea-Based Strategic Missile
Le Bourget (RIA Novosti) Jun 21, 2007
France has conducted a successful test launch of its new M51 ballistic missile, which will be used on its nuclear submarines, the defense minister said Thursday. The unarmed missile was launched from the Biscarosse site in the Landes region of southwest France and fell into the North Atlantic off the U.S. coast.
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