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Russia successfully test-fires new Bulava missile

Thursday, September 18, 2008

MOSCOW —  The Russian Navy successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, officials said.

The Bulava missile was launched from the submerged Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea, and its warheads hit a designated target at a military range on the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo said in a statement.

Russian Navy chief, Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky, congratulated the submarine's crew on the successful launch, Dygalo said.

Several previous tests of the Bulava had failed _ casting doubt of Russia's ability to build what Russian officials have hailed as a key future component of the nation's nuclear forces.

The Bulava was developed by the Moscow-based Thermal Technology Institute, which designed the new ground-based Topol-M missile and had no previous experience in building submarine-based missiles.

According to published Russian reports, the Bulava is designed to have a range of 6,200 miles and carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads. It is expected to equip new Borei-class nuclear submarines, the first of which, Yuri Dolgoruky, was to be commissioned later this year.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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