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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia prepares for another test launch of Bulava ballistic missile

RIA Novosti

02:05 29/10/2010 MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will hold on Friday another test launch of a Bulava ballistic missile from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear-powered submarine.

This will be the 14th test launch of the missile. Over half of the previous test launches of the submarine-based missile failed so far.

The latest successful test launch was held on October 7 from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the White Sea. The warhead hit its target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region.

Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said earlier in the week that the ballistic missile would enter service only when it is 98-99% efficient.

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

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

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