Russia: Ballistic Missile Bulava Can be Commissioned in 2012, Defence Ministry Says


Submarine-launched ballistic missile system ( SLBM ) Bulava would be possibly commissioned in 2012, said Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov at the press conference held on Sept 1.

It was previously reported that Bulava would be put in service along with its platform – SSBN Yury Dolgoruky – in the current year. “There are good reasons to commission not only missiles but the platform in 2012”, said Serdiukov accompanying president Medvedev in the working tour over Stavropol Krai.

Answering the question how he found his the latest Bulava launch carried out on Aug 27, Serdiukov said “Excellent“. Being asked to specify the flight range, the minister answered: “9.1 thousands [kilometers]”.

Serdiukov said he had heard nothing about the scandal over a photo posted on the defense ministry’s website after the Bulava launch. Reportedly, that was a launch of American missile Trident dated 1989.

Initially, that test launch of SLBM Bulava was supposed to be conducted on Aug 20, but was postponed. RIA Novosti reported then referring to a source in Russian defense ministry that the deferment was caused by the need for additional check of the submarine systems.

That was the sixteenth launch of SLBM Bulava in general, and the second one in 2011. Nine out of 16 previous launches were found successful. The latest test launch was carried out on June 28, 2011 also by SSBN Yury Dolgoruky (Project 955 Borei) and was successful too. All launches till June 28, 2011 were held by SSBN Dmitry Donskoy.

R-30 Bulava (in international contracts – RSM-56, NATO classification – SS-NX-30) is newest Russian three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile based on submarines. The missile is capable to carry 6-10 hypersonic independently-targetable nuclear warheads with yield of 100-150 kt each maneuvering in altitude and course. It has low-altitude flight profile.

Bulava was designed by Moscow Thermotechnics Institute. Maximum range is 8,000 km, launch weight is 36.8 tons, three stages, inertial guidance system, payload is 1,150 kg, length in launch container is 12.1 meters, length without warhead is 11.5 meters.

Platforms of SLBM Bulava are SSBN Yury Dolgoruky, SSBN Alexander Nevsky, SSBN Vladimir Monomakh and others. Totally, it is planned to build eight Borei-class submarines till 2015.

Source: rusnavy, September 5, 2011;