The launch of the Russian intercontinental missile Bulava, prepared on December 17, 2010, has been postponed indefinitely due to worsening weather conditions in the White Sea.
According to the General Staff of the Navy, according to the plan, the launch should be carried out from the board of the Yuri Dolgoruky nuclear submarine. However, due to the formation of ice jams, the submarine could not approach the control point in the White Sea at the estimated time. During the tests, it was planned to test the capabilities of a new generation nuclear submarine to launch a rocket from a surface position.
Further tests have been postponed to next year, based on their results, a decision will be made on the serial production of weapons. The main developer of the Bulava, Y. Solomonov, has repeatedly stated that the missile launch from the submarine has been prepared and will take place on time. This opinion was shared by the officers of the Main Staff of the Navy. Of particular interest to the tests was the fact that on December 7 information appeared about the readiness of a nuclear warhead for installation on a long-suffering missile.
Taking into account the failure of the tests, the next launch is possible no earlier than 2011. In the same period, it is necessary to make a final decision on the advisability of sending the missile into mass production. According to the calculations of the designers, in the future, the Bulava will be able to be launched not only from the mines of the nuclear submarine, but also from the ground.
After the fourteenth missile launch from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine on October 29, representatives of the General Staff of the Navy announced the possibility of adopting it in September 2011. Statistics speaks against this decision, because most of the launches ended unsuccessfully. According to specialists from the Ministry of Defense, the cause of the failures was defects that were made during the assembly of the missile.
According to the plan, the Bulava will be part of the armament of strategic submarine missile cruisers developed within the framework of Project 955 (Borey). Back on October 26, First Deputy Defense Minister V. Popovkin declared that the missile would be put into service with the Russian Navy only if the coefficient of its reliability was brought to unity. Many officials have stated that when adopted, the missile will be able to serve until 2050.
"Bulava" is a development of the Moscow Institute of Heat Engineering. It is a submarine-based three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile. The engines of the first and second stages run on solid fuel, the third stage is liquid, designed to provide speed and maneuvering when rearing warheads. At the moment of launch, the rocket can be in an inclined state, which allows launching in motion under water.
The missile carriers are Project 941 UM strategic submarines Akula (Dmitry Donskoy) and Project 955 Borey cruisers (Alexander Nevsky, Yuri Dolgoruky, Vladimir Monomakh and others). By 2015, according to the plan, eight nuclear submarines of this type should appear.