The Russian Defence Ministry has four rounds of Bulava missile test launches planned, with the first scheduled to take place next month.

“The launch will take place between 15 and 17 June from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine [in the White Sea],” a source said.

The nation also plans to deploy the missile on its new Borey class strategic submarines this year.

The 12m-long, 37t Bulava missile could be made the cornerstone of Russia’s nuclear arsenal over the next decade, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles.

The missile, with a range of over 8,000km, can carry up to ten nuclear warheads, according to RIA Novosti.