Russia: State Commission to Set Date of Next SLBM Bulava Test in Few Days


State commission analyzing development tests of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Bulava will determine date of the coming launch in the next few days; it will decide whether the test launch are held in 2011 or 2012, reports RIA Novosti on Dec 15 referring to a spokesman for Russian defense ministry.

He said the information about the Bulava salvo launch to be allegedly performed late in Dec 2011 was an illusory.

“Periodically appearing in the press reports about dates of SLBM Bulava test launches refer to unofficial sources and are nothing but biased information. As for now, the state commission has finished analyzing of the previous tests and works on preparation for the next stage of trials. It will be decided when to conduct another launch – this or next year – after the commission makes final conclusions”, said the representative of defense ministry.

It is planned to perform the two-missile salvo launch by Project 955 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Yury Dolgoruky which is standard Bulava-carrier. If the launch is successful, the missile and standard platform would be commissioned into Russian Navy.

As of today, 10 out of 17 test launches of SLBM Bulava were found successful; the latter one was carried out on Oct 28, 2011. All launches in the current year were performed by SSBN Yury Dolgoruky.

The source from defense ministry emphasized that dates of the further Bulava test launches would be set after careful expert examination of the previous launch and developing of technical specifications for the next launch. Normally, such specifications determine scope of tested parameters for missile and submarine platform.

“When planning the next Bulava launch, forecasts of meteorological conditions are taken into account, in particular, in the impact zone”, said the interviewee.

He added that defense ministry would timely inform the press about the next test launch.

R-30 Bulava (in international contracts – RSM-56, on NATO classification – SS-NX-30) is newest Russian three-stage solid-propellant submarine-based ballistic missile.

The missile is capable to carry 6-10 hypersonic independently targetable nuclear warheads with yield of 100-150 kt each.

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 Bulava-30 are Project 955 Borei submarines – SSBN Yury Dolgoruky, SSBN Vladimir Monomakh, etc. Totally, it is planned to build eight Borei-class submarines till 2015.

Naval Today Staff, December 16, 2011

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