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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia's newest nuclear sub starts sea trials

RIA Novosti

18:24 19/08/2010

MOSCOW, August 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's newest Borey-class strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Yury Dolgoruky, on Thursday started a series of sea trials in the White Sea, the Sevmash shipyard said.

A Sevmash spokesman said the trials were part of the manufacturer's tests and that depending on their outcome, official testing would begin.

The submarine, a 23-billion ruble ($755 million) project, is expected to be armed with the ill-fated Bulava sea-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

The Bulava (SS-NX-30) has officially suffered seven failures in 12 tests. Some analysts suggest that in reality the number of failures is considerably larger. Russian military expert Pavel Felgenhauer says only one of the 12 launches has been an outright success.

The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by several lawmakers and defense industry officials, who suggest that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.

However, that would require major changes to the Borey-class submarines. The Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put into service with the Navy.

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