The Russian Navy has announced plans to move ahead with the next test for the Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles in July 2009, and will also execute four or five more launches in 2009.

Despite five failures in ten trials, the country’s defence ministry is progressing with the the programme to finish the Bulava tests and put the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into service by the end of 2009.

This ICBM, in addition with Topol-M ballistic missiles, is part of Russia’s nuclear triad of land-based ballistic missile systems, nuclear-propelled submarines and strategic bombers.

The three-stage ballistic missile is capable of carrying ten nuclear warheads and has a range of 8,000km.

The Bulava is configured for deployment on the navy’s Borey Class project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.