Last Bulava test launch can be postponed

Bulava launch in October 2011 visible over northern Norway.

The final test launch of Russia’s newest intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava can be postponed to next spring because of the weather conditions in the White Sea, Russia’s Defense Minister says.


The last test launch of the Bulava missile is planned for the end of November and will involve at least two missiles, RIA Novosti has reported, citing a source in the defense industry. The launch will be conducted by Yury Dolgoruky, the first vessel of Russia’s new Borey nuclear-powered strategic submarines.

According to Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, the launch can be postponed to 2012:

- We are planning one more launch this year, and so far everything is going according to the plan. I don’t think the weather should give us any problems. If the weather suddenly should overthrow our plans, we will move to the month of May, at the latest, Serdyukov said on Friday, according to RIA Novosti.

As BarentsObserver reported, Yury Dolgoruky has to have at least one more missile test launch before it can be delivered to the Pacific Fleet. The hand-over was planned to take place in 2011, but the Defense Minister’s statement can be interpreted as a reservation from the deadline.

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The Borey-class is the first strategic nuclear powered submarines to be commissioned to the Russian Navy since the early 90-ties. Yury Dolgoruky has three Bulava test launches – in June, August and October.

Read also: Background on Bulava missile tests