Russia successfully tests new long-range missile
Russia on Friday successfully test fired its nuclear-capable Bulava ballistic missile in the hope of making it into the backbone of a more streamlined but effective new nuclear force.
The defence ministry said the 37 tonne inter-continental missile was fired from the Yury Dolgoruky submarine in the White Sea. It hit its target on the Kamchatka Peninsula some 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) to the east.
"The launch was performed from a submerged position," an unnamed defence ministry official told Russian news agencies.
"The missile's warheads arrived at the test range on time," the official said.
The latest Russian missile can travel at least 8,000 kilometres and is equipped to carry multiple warheads that can each maneuver to hit separate targets.
The Bulava (Mace) is meant to replace Soviet-era missiles that Russia is decommissioning with age and under agreements with the United States.
But it has also posed a major headache for the military due to repeated test failures that have delayed its use by the military and left the Yury Dolgoruky without its principal weapon.
The Interfax news agency said the Bulava has had seven test failures in its history of 17 tests. The missile makes up the cornerstone of Russia's nuclear forces strategy up to 2040-2045.
© 2011 AFP