MOSCOW, January 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will not give up test launches of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, a deputy chief of the Russian General Staff said Sunday.
“The missile will be a success. We see what we started from and at which stage of development it is now. This is a big contrast,” Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said.
After another failed test launch of the Bulava on December 23, journalists and analysts proposed, in particular, that the Bulava test program be closed.
The submerged launch of the Bulava ICBM took place from the Dmitry Donskoi strategic nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea, off Russia’s northwest coast, targeting the Kura firing ground in Kamchatka, the Far East.
The latest test launch was Bulava’s 10th and the fifth failure.
Nogovitsyn said the reason for the Bulava test launch failure on December 23 was “on the verge of production and design solution.”
The chief of the Russian General Staff, General of the Army Nikolai Makarov, said in December that production flaws could be to blame for the unsuccessful test launch.
The previous test of the Bulava missile took place on November 28, 2008. It was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea, effectively engaging its designated target on the Kamchatka Peninsula about 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) east of Moscow.
Russia earlier planned for the Bulava to enter service with the Navy in 2009. But a senior Russian Navy official said earlier that several more test launches would be conducted in 2009 before a final decision to adopt it for service was made.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30), carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads and having a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier said the missile would be a key component of Russia’s nuclear forces.