Russia Delays State Testing of New Subs

An unsuccessful trial firing on Friday of a submarine-launched ballistic missile has lead the Russian Defense Ministry to postpone plans to conduct state trials for its new ballistic-missile submarines while another round of corrective SLBM tests is undertaken, Interfax reported. 

"A Bulava ICBM was launched upon the Kura range in Kamchatka during state tests of the Alexander Nevsky strategic-nuclear cruiser in the White Sea yesterday," a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman told reporters on Saturday. "The missile properly left the launch tube, but its onboard system malfunctioned on the second minute of the flight."

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has decided to postpone planned state testing of the Borei-class SSBNs Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh and to order five more practical firings of the solid-fueled Bulava with the goal of proving "its planned technical parameters," the spokesman said.

The Russian navy had earlier been slated to receive the Alexander Nevsky in November and the Vladimir Monomakh in December pending a successful September launch of the Bulava SLBM. However, the failure of the September test has pushed back the planned state testing of the strategic vessels.

A commission is looking into the reasons behind the Friday test failure.

The Bulava is intended to form the backbone of the sea-based leg of Russia's nuclear triad. However, the SLBM has had a rocky testing track-record  -- thus far over 50 percent of the weapon's 13 test firings have been unsuccessful.

 

Sept. 9, 2013
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An unsuccessful trial firing on Friday of a new submarine-launched ballistic missile has lead the Russian Defense Ministry to postpone plans to conduct state trials for its new ballistic-missile submarines while another round of corrective SLBM tests is undertaken, Interfax reported.

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