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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia’s Troubled Bulava Missiles Returned to Maker – Official

RIA Novosti

20:13 16/09/2013 MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) – All Bulava missiles from the same batch as the one that failed on September 6 will undergo additional tests by their manufacturer, a senior defense industry official told RIA Novosti Monday.

Oleg Bochkarev, deputy head of the government’s Military-Industrial Commission, said the extent of the examination will be determined after the cause of the Sept. 6 launch failure has been identified.

The tests will be carried out by the Votkinsk plant that makes Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) and Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missiles, and could take place on-site at storage facilities, Bochkarev said.

There will also be additional launches using Bulava missiles from the same batch as the one that malfunctioned on Sept. 6, he said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered five additional launches of Bulava missiles following the failed launch of Sept.6, when a missile fired during state trials of the Alexander Nevsky nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea malfunctioned.

Including this latest failure, eight out of 19 or 20 test launches of the troubled Bulava have been officially declared unsuccessful.

The Russian military has repeatedly stated that there is no alternative to the Bulava.

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

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