© Archive. Photo by Press service of the Western military district for the Northern fleet

TASS-FILE. On 26 June 2017, the defense Ministry announced that the missile cruiser submarine of project 955 “Yury Dolgoruky” of the Northern fleet of the Navy of Russia produced launch of an Intercontinental ballistic missile Bulava from the Barents sea, successfully hitting specified targets on the Kura test site (Kamchatka).

R-30 “Bulava” – a Russian Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) sea-based in the first start-up complex D-30. Weapons designed for underwater missile cruisers strategic purpose (SSBNs) of the project 09550, 09551 09552 and “Northwind” and “Borey-M” test was also conducted on the modernized submarine TK-208 “Dmitry Donskoy” project 941 “Akula”.

Development and launches

In the early 1990s, it was planned that the new Russian SSBN will be installed R-39УТТХ (“Bark”) of KB . Makeev (Miass, Chelyabinsk region), but their development was discontinued in 1998 due to unsuccessful trials and funding problems.

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It was decided to start work on a new launch complex. In 1998 the Moscow Institute of thermal technology began to develop “Bulava”. The first publication of the new missile appeared in 1999, was Originally planned that it will be adopted already in 2004, the Successful launches of mass-dimensional layout of surface and underwater position was held on 11 December 2003 and 23 September 2004 respectively. The first launch was conducted September 27, 2005: according to official statements, “Bulava” was launched from a surface position and hit the target on the Kura test site (Kamchatka).

Only from 2005 to June 26, 2017 was made on 27 test launches, of which 12 were found to be successful, and the rest were partially successful or a failure: failures in management systems, breeding warheads, the engines of the second and third stages. As a result, the adoption of missiles into service was delayed, despite the fact that the first of class SSBN “Borey” (K-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy and K-550 “Alexander Nevsky”) in 2013, became part of the Russian Navy. This situation is not unique to Russian shipbuilding – so the first two submarines of project 941 “Shark” came into the fleet in 1981 and 1983, and designed for them missile complex D-19 was adopted only in 1984.

Performance characteristics

Accurate tactical and technical characteristics “Maces” was not formally published. According to various media, ICBM is a three-stage solid-fuel missile which can carry six to ten nuclear blocks of individual guidance. Starting weight – 36.8 tons, throw-weight – 1 thousand of 150 kg, length in the starting container – 12,1 m. According to media reports, the maximum range – 10 thousand km Circular error probable (a measure of accuracy, means the radius of the circle outlined around the target, which should get 50% of the warheads) of the missile, according to experts, may be about 250-300 m.