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Russia launches Bulava missiles

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    Russia launches serial production of Bulava missiles to minimize US missile defense efforts 02.12.2008
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2008
      Russia launches serial production of Bulava missiles to minimize US
      missile defense efforts

      Russian defense enterprises have launched the serial production of
      Bulava strategic missiles. "The funding is being conducted as
      stipulated," Vice Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday at a
      meeting of the presidium of the Russian government. Russia will conduct
      another test launch of the Bulava missile until the end of 2008, whereas
      the tests in general will be completed in 2009, Itar-Tass reports.

      Russia launches serial production of Bulava missiles to minimize US
      missile defense efforts

      Mr. Ivanov reminded that Russia carried out the tenth launch of its
      Bulava strategic missile on November 28, of which only five were
      successful. "All the measurements were in order – both the
      launch of the missile from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine and the
      work of the three missile stages, including the work of the post-boost
      vehicle. All the warheads landed where they were supposed to land,"
      Ivanov said.

      The intercontinental solid-fuel ballistic missile Bulava was designed by
      the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. The missile is capable of
      carrying up to ten individually guided nuclear blocks and striking
      targets within a radius of up to 8,000 kilometers. The missile is
      designed for Borei class nuclear submarines, which will be outfitted
      with 16 missiles each. The heavy nuclear-powered submarine Dmitry
      Donskoy was prepared to conduct the missile tests. Several test launches
      of the Bulava missile ended unsuccessfully in 2007.

      The Bulava carries the NATO reporting name SS-NX-30 and has been
      assigned the GRAU index 3M30. In international treaties, the common
      designation RSM-56 is used.

      The decision on developing the "Bulava" missile was adopted in
      1998 after three unsuccessful tests of the "Bark" missile of the
      Miass Construction Bureau named after Makeev.

      The Bulava design is based on the SS-27 (Topol M), but is both lighter
      and more sophisticated. The two missiles are expected to have comparable
      ranges, and similar CEP and warhead configurations.

      The Russian military developed Bulava to possess advanced defense
      capabilities making it nearly impervious to existing and future
      missile-defense systems. Among its claimed abilities are evasive
      maneuvering, mid-course countermeasures and decoys and a warhead fully
      shielded against both physical and EMP damage. The Bulava is designed to
      be capable of surviving a nuclear blast at a minimum distance of 500
      meters. Prime Minister Putin has stated that Bulava could penetrate any
      potential anti-missile defense system.

      The current version of the Bulava is able to carry up to six MIRV
      warheads, future variants are expected to carry a maximum of ten. A
      full-capacity payload requires the forfeiture of all final stage
      countermeasures and of some shielding.

      The missile completed the first stage launch-tests at the end of 2004.
      It was originally scheduled for completion in late 2006, but is now not
      expected to enter service until 2009.



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