Saturday, October 23, 2010
Next Bulava missile test postponed until later this year
Russia will not carry out the next test launch of its troubled Bulava ballistic missile in late October, as was previously planned, the chief of Russia's Armed Forces General Staff said on Thursday.
The latest test launch of the Bulava missile on October 7 was successful. The missile, which was fired from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the White Sea, hit its designated target in the Kura test range in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka region.
"We still need some time to analyze the results of the previous launch, but it is already clear that the missile performed well," Gen. Nikolai Makarov told reporters in Moscow. "The next test launch will be carried out later this year, but not in October."
The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered 7 failures in 13 tests.
Bulava test launches were put on hold after a failed launch on December 9, 2009, which was caused by a defective engine nozzle.
Makarov said that the missiles for the next two launches had already been manufactured under the strict supervision of the Defense Ministry, and are ready for testing.
Two test launches of the Bulava are planned before the end of 2010: one from the Dmitry Donskoy sub, and the other from Russia's newest strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky.