Russia to Test Bulava Missile in November

24 May 2010 (Last Updated May 24th, 2010 18:30)

The Russian Navy has postponed a test launch of the troubled Bulava ballistic missile until November 2010, according to Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. In December 2009, Russia conducted a unsuccessful test launch from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea, acc

The Russian Navy has postponed a test launch of the troubled Bulava ballistic missile until November 2010, according to Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

In December 2009, Russia conducted a unsuccessful test launch from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea, according to Rianovosti.

The Bulava missile has completed a total of 12 test launches from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine, of which, only five were officially reported as successful.

Russia has scheduled at least four test launches of Bulava before the end of June but has stalled plans until three identical missiles are ready so that the officials can establish the cause of the failures.

Serdyukov said the faulty assembly process had been resulting in failures, however, each failed launch has experienced different problems.

"Only the testing of three identical missiles would allow the experts to pinpoint the cause of failures," he said.

Bulava (SS-NX-30) is a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile specifically designed for Russia's new Borey Class nuclear submarines.

The missile can carry up to ten MIRV warheads with a range of over 8,000km.