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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Test launches of Russia's troubled Bulava missile to be held Thursday

RIA Novosti

09:47 06/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - Test launches of Russia's troubled Bulava ballistic missile will be held in the White Sea by the end of the week, a source in the administration of the northern Russian town of Severodvinsk said.

"The launch of the missile is expected at the end of the week, most likely on Thursday," the source said.

The missile will be launched from Russia's Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine.

Bulava test launches were put on hold after a failed launch on December 9, 2009, which was caused by a defective engine nozzle.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered seven failures in 12 tests.

But some analysts think that in reality the number of failures is considerably higher, with only one of Bulava's 12 test launches being entirely successful.

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