The latest test of the sea-launched Bulava missile took place on November 28. It was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi Typhoon-class strategic nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea, effectively engaging its designated target on the Kamchatka Peninsula about 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles) east of Moscow.
The official said the previously announced test launch scheduled for Sunday, also to be made from the Dmitry Donskoi, would not be the last.
"Next year, we plan to hold another three or four launches, including from the Yury Dolgoruky nuclear submarine, which may be equipped with this system in the future," the high-ranking member of the Navy's general staff said.
He also said the remaining two heavy Akula-class Project 941 (NATO code name Typhoon) nuclear submarines would not be equipped with Bulava missiles, rejecting earlier media reports.
"Various options are being considered, but the subs will not carry nuclear weapons anyway. They could be refitted to carry cruise missiles or to lay mines, or could be used in special operations," the official said.
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier this month that Russia would in December hold another test launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, which has already gone into full-scale production.
Russia is planning to adopt new sea-launched Bulava missiles for service with the Navy in 2009.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30), carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads and having a range of 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles), is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.
The first submarine in the series, the Yury Dolgoruky, was built at the Sevmash shipyard in the northern Arkhangelsk Region and is currently undergoing sea trials.
The submarine has a length of 170 meters (580 feet), a body diameter of around 13 meters (42 feet), and a submerged speed of about 29 knots.
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