Russia test-fired new submarine missile

A Delta-IV class submaine in the Barents Sea. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Launched from the Barents Sea on Thursday from a Delta-IV class submarine.


The new Layner intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has sophisticated characteristics that enable it to pierce any missile defence system, a Defence Ministry spokesman told reporters in Moscow.

The missile hit its target on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East. 

The Delta-IV class submarines of the Northern fleet normally carry the upgraded version of the Sineva-missiles. The test of the new Layner missile took place from the submarine “Tula.

On May 20th, another Delta-IV class submarine of the Northern fleet test-fired a missile that was announced to be the first missile-test of the Layner.

A military source told Vzglyad that the Layner missile is a ‘profound modernization’ of Sineva and differs from the latter by a complete reconstruction of one of the key systems in the missile, considerably improving its capacities.

This is rather similar to the characteristics the Defence Ministry gives to the missile launched on Thursday this week, so it is likely the same missile.

Earlier this week, BarentsObserver reported about the failed launch of a brand new, a so far very secret, intercontinental missile from Plesetsk missile launch site in Arkhangelsk region. The failed missile fall down and was found eight kilometres into the forest.

The launch of the submarine based ICBM on Thursday from the Barents Sea was therefore happily announced as a success by the Defence Ministry in Moscow.

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The Russian Northern fleet has seven Delta-IV class submarines based on the Kola Peninsula. Six of these submarines carry intercontinental missiles, while the seventh is converted into a platform for naval research for the navy.

The six Delta-IV class submarines will be the core in the Northern fleet’s strategic missile forces for at least the coming ten years. The new 4th generation nuclear powered strategic submarines of the Borei-class will replace the Delta-class.

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The first four of the Borei-class submarines are however said to sail for the Pacific fleet in Russia’s Far East. The Pacific fleet operates Delta-III class submarines that are older than the Delta-IV class that operates in the Barents Sea and under the Arctic ice-cap.

The plan is to build at least eight, maybe as many as 20 Borei-class submarines and the submarines to be built after the first four is likely to be based on the Kola Peninsula, but the construction of these submarines have not yet started. The first Borei-class submarine is “Yuri Dologoruky” and in September Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that she sail from the White Sea to the Pacific by the end of 2011.