Russia defers Borei-class submarine trials following Bulava launch failure

9 September 2013 (Last Updated September 9th, 2013 18:30)

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has deferred the trials of second and third Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh respectively following an unsuccessful launch of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), a Russian defence ministry spokesman said.

Borei-class submarine

The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has deferred the trials of second and third Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh, following an unsuccessful launch of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), a Russian defence ministry spokesman said.

RIA Novisti cited spokesman as saying that the Bulava SLBM had been launched from Alexander Nevsky submarine to hit the Kura test site in Kamchatka during state trials.

Following its launch off the White Sea, the missile underwent a malfunction in one of its systems during the second minute of the flight.

Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu, has ordered to stop Borei-class submarines state trials and additional five test launches of the troubled SLBM, the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, a state commission led by the Russian Navy commander admiral Viktor Chirkov will review the reason for the malfunction during the submarine-launched ballistic missile trial.

"The missile underwent a malfunction in one of its systems during the second minute of the flight."

Expected to form the core of the country's strategic submarine fleet, the Borei-class boats will replace the existing Project 941 (NATO typhoon class) and Project 667 class (Delta-3 and Delta-4) submarines.

Powered by an OK-650 nuclear reactor, AEU steam turbine, a shaft and propeller, the 170.5m-long submarine is designed by Rubin Marine Equipment Design Bureau and built by Northern Machine Building Enterprise (Sevmash shipyard).

Russia's Sevmash shipyard chief Mikhail Budnichenko said in early July, that the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh submarines were due to be delivered to the Russian Navy on 15 November and in mid-December respectively.

The Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology-built Bulava missile is designed to replace the R-39UTTH Bark missile for the submarines.


Image: Russian Navy's second Borei-class submarine, Alexander Nevsky, at its construction facility. Photo: courtesy of Alexey Kudenko.

Defence Technology