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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

No relocation of Bulava missile production - Russian Navy

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Defense Ministry will not transfer production of Bulava ballistic missiles to a different plant, the Navy chief said on Friday.

Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky dismissed earlier reports that the submarine-launched ballistic missile, which has suffered six failures in 11 tests blamed on production faults, had been moved to another manufacturer.

"These reports are mere rumors," Vysotsky said, adding the tests would resume before the end of the year.

The general director of the institute developing the Bulava (Mace) has resigned over the failures, seen as a setback in the strengthening of Russia's nuclear deterrent.

Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff, was reported as saying in late August that Bulava production had been moved to another plant.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has an estimated range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on new Borey class nuclear-powered strategic submarines.

The Russian military expects the Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

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