Russia has test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) named Bulava from one of its submarines in the Barents Sea. Moscow confirmed the event was successful as the projectile hit its intended target.
Bulava, reportedly capable of withstanding a nuclear attack, was launched from the Borei-class nuclear-powered submarine, Yuri Dolgoruky, from a test site in the Barents Sea, a location close to Norway. The ICBM, a solid-propellant projectile, can carry up to 10 warheads and has a strike range of 9,300km.
"The strategic Borei-class nuclear submarine, Yuri Dolgoruky, has successfully fired the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from a designated area in the Barents Sea to the Kura Missile Test Range in Kamchatka," the Russian defence ministry said. The missile travelled roughly about 4,600km to cover almost the entire Asian part of Russia to finally strike its targets.
It is unclear whether the Russian event is a direct response to any of Nato's recent military events taking place close to Moscow's frontiers. The last time Bulava was tested was in September 2016.
"The launch was made from an underwater position in accordance with the combat training plan. According to the confirmed data from mission control, the ICBM units completed the full flight program and successfully hit the targets in the range," the ministry added.
The test-firing was led by the Northern Fleet's Project 955, to which the missile cruiser aka the submarine is a part of. The Yuri Dolgoruky is a 24,000-tonne underwater cruiser fully armed with torpedoes and a set of Bulava missiles while also capable of carrying cruise missiles. The vessel can carry as many as 16 sea-based Bulava missiles.
Moscow aims to put eight Borei-class submarines such as Yuri Dolgoruky in operation by 2020. The Russian navy currently has two other Borei-class vessels in service.