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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia successfully tests sea-based ballistic missile

RIA Novosti

25/12/2007 15:16 MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia conducted Tuesday a successful test launch of a ballistic missile from a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea in the Arctic, a Navy spokesman said.

The K-114 Tula (Delta IV-class) nuclear submarine of the Northern Fleet fired a new-generation Sineva intercontinental ballistic missile from a submerged position, targeting a test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East.

"The launch has been conducted from an underwater position," Igor Drygalo said. "A simulated warhead reached the target at the Kura testing ground at the designated time."

The RSM-54 Sineva (NATO designation SS-N-23 Skiff) is a third-generation liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile that entered service with the Russian Navy in June 2007. It has a reported range of 5,500 miles and can carry four nuclear warheads.

The Tula submarine previously test fired a Sineva ICBM, which is allegedly capable of penetrating any existing missile defenses, on December 17. A dummy warhead hit a target at the same testing grounds in Kamchatka with high precision, the Navy said at the time.

The submarine, built in 1987, has been modernized at the Zvyozdochka (Starlet) Engineering Plant in Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk Region. It is equipped with 16 Sineva ICBMs missiles and 12 torpedoes.

Delta IV-class submarines currently form the mainstay of Russia's strategic nuclear submarine fleet. Seven of the series were built between 1984 and 1992.

Russia's Strategic Missiles Forces (SMF) recently said that Russia would conduct at least 11 test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2008 and would double the number of launches after 2009 "to prevent the weakening of Russia's nuclear deterrence under any circumstances."

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