Updated 12:22 p.m. Moscow time
MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s nuclear submarine Vladimir Monomakh has departed its port to hold a test launch of the intercontinental ballistic Bulava (SS-NX-32) missile in the North Sea, a source in the Sevmash Shipyard told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“The nuclear-powered submarine, the Vladimir Monomakh, has left Sevmash, the ship has been preliminarily prepared, and it should return before September 11,” the source said.
Earlier, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said that two launches would take place in 2014. The first would be from the Vladimir Monomakh in September, and the second would be in November.
Bulava is Russia's cutting-edge intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Equipped with 10 warheads with a 9,000-kilometer range, it is even capable of withstanding nuclear attack.
Test launches of the Bulava have been experiencing some problems. Last September during state trials of the Aleksander Nevsky nuclear-powered submarine a Bulava rocket experienced a malfunction. Following this incident Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered to hold five additional launches of Bulava missiles.
Intercontinental ballistic missile R-30 Bulava should become primary weapon for ballistic missile submarines of the Borei class (Project 955), which is intended to replace the Delta III, Delta IV and Typhoon classes now in Russian Navy service.
The main submarine of this project is Yury Dolgoruky. By now there have been 19 test launches, with 8 of them successful, 4 partially successful and the rest unsuccessful. The last test took place last September in the White Sea.