MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) – A new test launch of Russia’s troubled Bulava missile will be staged on June 28, a Russian Defense Ministry source said on Sunday.
Despite several previous failures, officially blamed on manufacturing defects, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready for service with the Navy.
“The decision to hold a test launce of the Bulava (SS-NX-30) submarine-launched ballistic missile on June 28 was taken by the State Commission for Flight Testing on Saturday,” the source said.
The launch will take place from a standard carrier, the Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear submarine, in the Barents Sea.
Russia is planning to conduct at least four Bulava test launches this year and deploy the missile on its new Borey class strategic submarines.
The Bulava missile carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).
The Russian military expects the Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, to become the core of Russia’s nuclear triad.