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New manufacturer for Bulava missile


A file photo.

ULAN BATOR (BNS): Marred by reports of faulty production cycle following its latest failed test launch, the Russian Bulava ballistic missile production has been handed over to another manufacturer, the chief of the Russian General Staff has said.

“The latest failed launch of the Bulava was caused by technical glitches in the production cycle rather than by faulty design,” Gen. Nikolai Makarov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti news agency in the Mongolian capital here.

The General, however, did not specify who would be the new manufacturer of the missile system while expressing hope that the Russian industry “will tackle the problems and cope with the (production) task.”

The Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) is presently being developed by the Moscow-based Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT). Six of its 11 test launches resulted in failures following which the general director of the institute resigned last month.

The missile carries up to 10 multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) warheads and has an estimated range of over 8,000 kilometers. The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on new Borey class nuclear-powered strategic submarines.
Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, is touted to be the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

Makarov said a final report on the causes of the previous faulty test launches would be ready soon, but the date for the next Bulava trial was yet to be scheduled, the Russian news agency said.

He also ruled out any plans to replace Bulava with the Sineva SLBM on new strategic submarines. “Sineva is an absolutely different system. (Borey class) submarines are designed to be armed with the Bulava system. If they are to be adjusted to Sineva, they will have to be rebuilt entirely, which would be a costly project,” the General said.

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