Two Bulava SLBM Launch Planned in 2016

The Northern Fleet is planning to launch two Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in 2016.  The Bulava SLBM will be launched from a Borei-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), according to a TASS source. The RSM-56 Bulava can hit targets at more than 8,000 km and has 6 re-entry vehicles warheads with a yield of 150 kt each.

The launch date is yet to be determined but it will likely be performed from the Barents Sea in the first half of the year. The SLBM should be fired towards the Kura training range in Kamchatka, a Russian Far East region, where most of the other Bulava launches were conducted.

“It has not been decided yet when a multiple launch of Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles will be performed and which submarine will be used,” the source said.

“The launch is likely to be performed from the Barents Sea in the first half of the year. Either the submarine Yuri Dolgoruky, or the submarine Vladimir Monomakh will launch the missiles,” the source added.

Borei-class SSBN 'Yuri Dolgoruky' is capable of firing Bulava ICBM
Borei-class SSBN ‘Yuri Dolgoruky’ is capable of firing Bulava SLBM

The submarine who will launch the Bulava SLBM will be decided on the “the fleet’s combat training program and the submarine’s technical readiness,” according to the TASS source.

Last November, the Vladimir Monomakh, successfully fired two Bulava SLBM from the White Sea to the Kura training range.

The Bulava entered service with the Yuri Dolgoruky on 10 January 2013.

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Jonathan Wade, CD

Jonathan Wade is the director of the ‘The Sentinel Analytical Group’ and a decorated veteran of the Canadian Forces. Specialized in tactical, strategic, intelligence and geopolitics analysis, Jonathan has a fondness for technical details. His military experience brought him valuable insight on the realities of conflicts and war. A combat veteran of Afghanistan, Jonathan brings in in-theatre experience. Jonathan writes about Russia, Canada and Arctic.