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No alternative production plant for Bulava missile: Russian experts


A file photo of the missile.

MOSCOW (BNS): A day after a senior Defence official said that Russia has moved the production of its Bulava ballistic missiles to another plant, the country’s military and defence experts have questioned the claim by stating that Russia has only one plant dedicated to manufacturing solid-fuel ballistic missiles.

“Chief of Russian General Staff General Nikolai Makarov’s announcement took the Russian military and defense industry experts by surprise because only one plant in Russia – the Votkinsky Zavod in the Urals – makes solid-fuel ballistic missiles for Russia's Armed Forces, including the Topol-M, the Iskander-M, and the Bulava-30,” Ria Novosti news agency, quoting Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, said on Thursday.

The General, on Wednesday, had said that production of the troubled Bulava missile had been shifted to an alternative plant due to faulty production cycle, without specifying the name of the new manufacturer.

“Apparently, the media misinterpreted what Gen. Makarov said because there is nowhere to transfer Bulava production to from the Votkinsky plant,” the newspaper quoting a former chief of staff of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, said.

“On the other hand, it is possible to change manufacturers of faulty components supplied to the plant. Here we have some options, but the choice is still limited,” Yesin added.

The Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), presently developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (MITT), has met with six failures out of its 11 test launches.
The recent test launch of the weapon in July also ended up in failure.

A final report on the causes of the previous faulty test launches is expected to be ready soon.

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