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Russian nuclear submarine Dolgoruky test-fires four Bulava ICBMs in White Sea

The Russian nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgoruky successfully test-fired four Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles in the White Sea, the Russian Northern Fleet said.

“On May 22, the Project 955 Borei-class lead strategic nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgoruky made a successful test salvo launch of four Bulava ballistic missiles from the designated area in the White Sea to targets at the Kura range on the Kamchatka Peninsula,” Tass reported the fleet’s press service as saying.

“The test confirmed combat readiness of the Project-955 Borei strategic submarine and the Bulava missile system.”

The Bulava ICBM was first deployed in 2013, but Tuesday’s test was the first salvo launch from a submerged Borei-class submarine, according to the Northern Fleet.

The last time a Bulava ICBM was test-fired was in June 2017 when the Dolgoruky launched one from the Barents Sea towards the Kura range. Previous salvo launches took place in September 2016 in the White Sea, according to Tass.

Since 2004, the missile has been tested almost 30 times.

The Borei-class submarine can carry 16 36-ton Bulava ICBMs. An updated variant in the works will reportedly be capable of carrying 20 ICBMs.

The Bulava’s exact characteristics have not been disclosed, but Tass reported in January that it has a three-stage solid-propellant missile with six targetable warheads and a maximum range of 10,000km. Of the 26 tests conducted between September 27, 2005 and June 26, 2017, 14 were considered successful and the rest were partially successful or faulty due to failures in the engines or warhead control.

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