Friday, July 17, 2009

Russia ICBM by December '09

SOCHI, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that Russia had successfully test-launched a strategic missile from a submarine.

"The target was hit and the pieces of the missile landed in the designated area," the president said at a meeting with Navy personnel in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

The president said the test occurred on Monday, but did not specify the type of missile or the name of the submarine.

Last month Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, the Russian Navy commander, said Russia would carry out the next test of a Bulava sea-launched ballistic missile in late July, one of a total of four or five launches this year.

Despite five failures in 10 trials, the last unsuccessful trial being in December 2008, Russia's Defense Ministry is planning to complete Bulava tests and put the ICBM into service by the end of 2009.

The Russian military says the Bulava, along with Topol-M ballistic missiles, will become the backbone of Russia's nuclear triad.

The triad comprises land-based ballistic missile systems, nuclear-powered submarines armed with sea-launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers carrying nuclear bombs and nuclear-capable cruise missiles.

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