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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia to produce 150 Bulava missiles before 2020 - expert

RIA Novosti

15:47 22/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will need to build more than 150 Bulava ballistic missiles in the next decade, an expert on the Russian arms industry said on Friday.

Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, told RIA Novosti that at least 124 missiles would be required for the eight Borey class nuclear-powered submarines that will enter service over the next decade, and a further 30 or 40 will have to be set aside for test launches.

In order to reach that goal, the capacities of the only plant producing Bulava missiles, near the town of Votkinsk in the Urals, will have to be increased, he said.

The development of the Bulava has been beset by problems, but the latest test launch was successful.

The missile, which was fired from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the White Sea on October 7, hit its designated target in the Kura test range in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka region.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered seven failures in 13 tests.

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

Two more test launches are planned before the end of the year: one from the Dmitry Donskoy sub, and the other from Russia's newest strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky.

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