Russian Navy Test Fires Bulava SLBM from Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine, Yury Dolgoruky

Borei-class (Project 955) nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Yury Dolgoruky (K-535) successfully test-fired an RSM-56 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday. Yury Dolgoruky is part of Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.

The launch was made from an underwater position in accordance with the combat training plan, the ministry said. The parameters of the flight trajectory of the Bulava ICBMs have been worked out in the regular mode. According to the confirmed control data, ICBM combat units completed the full flight cycle and successfully hit the targets at the test site, the ministry added.

Bulava is the primary weapon of Borei class submarines , which is intended to replace the Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes of SSBNs now in Russian Navy service.

RSM-56 Bulava

RSM-56 Bulava (NATO reporting name SS-NX-30 or SS-N-32) is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) developed for the Russian Navy and deployed in 2013 on the new Project 955/955A Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).

Bulava is intended as the future cornerstone of Russia’s nuclear triad, and is the most expensive weapons project in the country. The weapon takes its name from bulava, a Russian word for mace. Bulava has 35% greater range and a 50 percent higher throw-weight than the 1979 American Trident C4 missile.

Designed by Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, development of the missile was launched in the late 1990s as a replacement for the R-39 Rif solid-fuel SLBM.

The missiles has an operational range of 8,000-8,300 km. Some reports suggests that the missile can reach beyond 10,000 km. Each missile can carry 6 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads. The accuracy of the warheads is 350m circular error probable (CEP).

The Project 955/955A Borei-class submarines carry 16 missiles per vessel. Development and deployment of the Bulava missile within the Russian Navy is not affected by the enforcement of the new START treaty.

The missile was officially approved for service on 27 December 2011, and was commissioned aboard K-535 Yuriy Dolgorukiy, the first Borei-class submarine, on 10 January 2013. Borei-class submarines carrying Bulava missiles are expected to be an integral part of the Russian nuclear triad until 2040.

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