Thursday, September 18, 2008MOSCOW — The Russian Navy successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, officials said.
The Bulava missile was launched from the submerged Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea, and its warheads hit a designated target at a military range on the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said in a statement.
Russian Navy chief, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, congratulated the submarine's crew on the successful launch, Dygalo said.
Several previous tests of the Bulava had failed _ casting doubt of Russia's ability to build what Russian officials have hailed as a key future component of the nation's nuclear forces.
The Bulava was developed by the Moscow-based Thermal Technology Institute, which designed the new ground-based Topol-M missile and had no previous experience in building submarine-based missiles.
According to published Russian reports, the Bulava is designed to have a range of 6,200 miles and carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads. It is expected to equip new Borei-class nuclear submarines, the first of which, Yuri Dolgoruky, was to be commissioned later this year.