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Russia’s New Bulava Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles Nuclear Warhead Ready

Nuclear warheads have been completed for Russia’s new Bulava
submarine-launched ballistic missile, its designer Yury Solomonov said
on Tuesday in an interview with Russia’s Natsionalnaya Oborona
(National Defense) journal to be published later in December.

“The nuclear payload will have been completed by the time the
missiles are installed in the carrier [submarine],” Solomonov said.
Four Bulava test launches will be carried out in the second half of
December from the Borei-class nuclear-powered missile submarine Yury
Dolgoruky, he said.
In the last test in late October, a Bulava missile was successfully
test-fired from the Dmitry Donskoi nuclear-powered submarine in the
White Sea, hitting a target on a test range in Russia’s Far East
Kamchatka region some 6,000 kilometers to the east.
It was the second successful firing in a month, coming after several failures.
A government source had previously said that the second stage of
Bulava tests will start at the end of May 2011, if the launches in 2010
are a success.
The Russian military expects the Bulava, along with Topol-M
land-based ballistic missiles, to become the core of Russia’s nuclear
Despite previous failures, officially blamed on manufacturing
faults, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative
to Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready
for service with the Navy.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).
The Russian navy plans to deploy Bulava on modified Project 941 and the new Project 955 Borei class submarines.