The Russian Navy has successfully test-fired the new Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) onboard the nuclear-powered, Borey-class Yury Dolgoruky submarine.

It is the Bulava’s first operational test in line with the combat training programme.

Following its launch from a submerged position at a site in the Barents Sea, the new missile successfully hit the intended target at the Kura test range in Kamchatka, Russian Far East, meeting the required parameters of the flight trajectory, according to RIA Novosti.

"The new missile successfully hit the intended target at the Kura test range."

The latest test, conducted as part of the Yury Dolgoruky’s weapons and systems testing, follows the successful launch of the Bulava missile from the Borey-class Vladimir Monomakh nuclear-powered submarine last month.

The tests are aimed at making the ICBM Bulava a vital nuclear warhead for Borey-class ballistic missile submarines. It is expected to replace the navy’s ageing Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes.

Built by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, the three-stage Bulava missile will replace the R-39 UTTH Bark missile and can carry up to ten MIRV warheads.

Yury Dolgoruky, the first in the class of the submarines, was formally commissioned in January 2013, with the third of eight vessels, Vladimir Monomakh, set for delivery by 2015.

Russia has experienced several failures in Bulava test-firing in the past. The missile is considered a key element of the Russian Navy’s strategic nuclear deterrent force.

Defence Technology