Russia flexes muscle, test-fires four Bulava nuclear ICBMs from submarine

The Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missiles were test-fired within a few seconds of each other from the submerged nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgorukiy.

Russia flexes muscle, test-fires four Bulava nuclear ICBMs from submarine
Photo: Youtube grab (Минобороны России)

In a major show of strength, the Russian Navy on Tuesday successfully test-fired fired four intercontinental nuclear Bulava ballistic missiles from a submarine in the White Sea. The submarine-launched ballistic missile Bulavas, which can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads of 100-150 kilotonnes each and have a range of 8,300 kilometres, were test-fired within a few seconds of each other from the submerged nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgorukiy.

"On May 22, the Project 955 Borei-class strategic nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgorukiy made a successful test salvo launch of four Bulava ballistic missiles from the designated area in the White Sea to targets at the Kura shooting range on the Kamchatka Peninsula within combat training. The missiles were fired from a submerged position, successfully completing the mission. The test confirmed combat readiness of the Project-955 Borei SSBN and the Bulava missile system. It was the first-ever salvo fire from this type of submarines. The SSBN crew demonstrated high professional skills in preparing for the test launch and in the process itself," the statement posted on Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation website said. A video of the test firing was also posted on the site.

The nuclear submarine Yury Dolgorukiy, commissioned in 2014 and capable of carrying up to 16 Bulava missiles, had earlier test-fired the ICBM on June 26, 2017 from the Barents Sea. The same submarine had conducted the salvo launch of two Bulava missiles on September 27, 2016 from the White Sea towards the Kura practice range.

The 12.1 metres long Bulava has a diameter of 2 m and a launch weight of 36,800 kilogrammes. The missile uses a three-stage solid propellant and entered service in 2013.

Yury Dolgorukiy has a capacity to not only carry 16 Bulavas but is also armed with torpedoes and cruise missiles. The submarine has a full displacement of 24,000 tonnes, is almost 160 metres long and 13 metres wide.

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