Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile R-30 Bulava to Join Russian Navy in October 2012
Submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) R-30 Bulava will be commissioned into Russian Navy in Oct 2012, reports RIA Novosti citing defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov. According to him, the missile’s flight development tests have been successfully finished. As is expected, newest Project 955 Borei nuclear-powered strategic submarines would join Russian Navy alongside with Bulava.
The latest launch of SLBM Bulava was held on Dec 23, 2011 by Borei-class submarine Yury Dolgoruky. The two-missile salvo launch was carried out in the White Sea; impact point was on Kura Range, Kamchatka. In total, seventeen Bulava test launches have been performed including seven failed. It was expected to decide on the Bulava commissioning by the end of 2011.
As is planned, two Borei-class nuclear-powered strategic submarines – SSBN Yury Dolgoruky and SSBN Alexander Nevsky – would be put in service in 2012. This was supposed to happen in 2011, but the commissioning was postponed due to protracted Bulava tests. According to Northern Fleet (NF) Submarine Force Commander Igor Muhametshin, Yury Dolgoruky will join Northern Fleet.
In prospect, ballistic missile Bulava will become the key component of Russian maritime strategic nuclear force. The missile is capable to hit targets at the range up to 8,000 km, carry 6-10 nuclear reentry vehicles with yield of 150 kiloton each capable to change flight trajectory. Bulava can be launched from underwater and on the move.
Naval Today Staff , March 21, 2012; Image: militaryphotos