Russia has carried out a test launch of the Bulava (SS-N-X-30) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), defence ministry spokesman colonel Igor Konashenkov said.

RIA Novosti reported the colonel as saying that the missile, which was launched from the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine in the White Sea, hit the target on the Kura firing range in Kamchatka, Russian Far East.

The launch is the third in six months from the submarine, following previous launches in June and August this year.

Bulava is capable of carrying ten warheads with a range of 8,000km and has been successful nine times out of 17 launches to date.

The missile, which was designed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, is expected to replace the R-39 solid-fuel SLBM.