Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Russia successfully test fires long-range missile: ministry

Russia on Thursday successfully tested its new nuclear-capable Bulava intercontinental missile, its first successful firing for months after a series of embarrassing failures, the defence ministry said. The missile was fired from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea in North European Russia and hit its target in the Kura firing area on the Kamchatka peninsula on the Pacific Ocean some 6,000 kilometres (3,730 miles) away, it said.
"The parameters of the trajectory worked out as planned and the warheads successfully landed at the Kura firing area," said a defence ministry statement quoted by Russian news agencies.
The last firing of the Bulava in December ended in one of the military's worst embarrassments in recent years when the missile disintegrated early in its flight, producing a spectacular plume of light visible over Norway.
Russian news agencies said the firing was the 13th test of the Bulava. Of the last 12 test firings, only five have been deemed to be fully or partially successful.
The Bulava, which can be equipped with up to 10 individually targeted nuclear warheads, has a maximum range of 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles).
Its incorporation into the armed forces is part of a wide-ranging military reform aimed at updating the armed forces' Soviet-era structures and equipment to bring them in line with the demands of modern warfare.
December's failed launch of the Bulava caused spectacular images in the sky above the Norwegian city of Tromso, prompting initial explanations they were caused by a meteor, the northern lights or even a UFO.
According to Russian news reports, the defence ministry has ploughed a large proportion of its procurement budget into ensuring the missile becomes the key element of its rocket forces.
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