Dmitry Donskoy submarine to perform next Bulava test launch
A heavy nuclear strategic submarine of Project 941 will conduct the next Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile test launch, a source familiar with the situation told Interfax-AVN.
"The Dmitry Donskoy will perform a solo Bulava test launch from a submerged position. The missile needs to be tested and its technical characteristics need to be confirmed after the unsuccessful launch from the Alexander Nevsky submarine. Besides, the new automated missile launch control system will be tested at a command from the General Staff," the source said.
In his words, the Dmitry Donskoy is the best prepared testing vehicle compared to the standard carriers of Bulava, the "Borei" submarines.
The Dmitry Donskoy ("Akula", NATO reporting name "Typhoon") was fitted for Bulava test launches. The submarine has test-fired 14 Bulava missiles. Seven launches were fully or partially successful, and seven were abortive.
It was decided to keep the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the Navy until 2017 as a vehicle for testing missiles and other hardware.
R30 3M30 Bulava (referred to as RSM-56 in international treaties, NATO reporting name SS-NX-30) is Russia's newest three-stage solid-fuel missile designed for arming nuclear strategic submarines of the "Borei" Project.
The missile can carry up to ten hypersonic, individually targeted warheads, which can change their flight trajectory by altitude and direction and hit targets within 8,000 kilometers. Bulava missiles will be the main weapon of the Russian prospective seaborne strategic nuclear forces during the period until 2040-2045.