Bulava missile visible from Norway

Bulava launch in October 2011 visible over northern Norway.

Russia’s first fourth-generation strategic submarine Yury Dolgoruky this morning launched it third Bulava missile. The launch was as success and was visible from large parts of Northern Norway.


The intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from submerged position in the White Sea early on Friday morning and hit its target on the Kura firing range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Interfax reports, citing a source in the Russian Defense Ministry.

Bulava launch in October 2011 visible over northern Norway.
The missile launch seen from the control tower at Alta airport Friday morning. (Photo: Terje Abrahamsen)

At 05.45 Norwegian time people in Northern Norway could see a strange light phenomenon in the sky to the north-east, Nordlys reports.

- We saw a light to the northeast on the sky which zigzagged and went up and down. We could see a spurt of flame and assumed it was a Russian missile, one of the eyewitnesses tells Nordlys.

In December 2009, a failed Bulava-launch created a giant spiral shaped light that could be seen in the eastern sky from large parts of Northern Norway for several minutes. The incident triggered speculations on UFOs, black holes and HAARP weapons.

Yury Dolgoruky” is planned to be taken into service in the Pacific Fleet within the end of the year. Today’s launch was the submarine’s third in less than six months. The first was conducted in June and the second in August, as BarentsObserver reported. There will be two more missile launches before the submarine is handed over to the navy, reports.

Yury Dolgoruky” is Russia’s first Borey class submarine and started sea trials in the White Sea in 2010. It is designed to carry the nuclear-capable Bulava intercontinental missile, which the Kremlin hopes to make the cornerstone of its arsenal over the next decade.

No Bulava-launch for first serial submarine in 2011
The next submarine in the Borey-class, “Aleksander Nevski”, is currently undergoing sea trials in the White Sea. This sub is also planned to be sent to the Pacific Fleet. After “Yury Dolgoruky“’s successful launch in June, navy commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said that also “Aleksander Nevsky” would conduct a Bulava test launch within the end of 2011.

The information has now been rejected by the Russian Navy, who says that the submarine will start test-launching Bulava missiles only next summer, ITAR-TASS reports.

Read all BarentsObserver articles on the Bulava missile