Russia launches Bulava missiles
- 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,"
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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