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    Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

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    Vladimir79
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    Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:28 am

    New Bulava missile test results in failure - Russian military

    MOSCOW, July 16 (RIA Novosti) - A scheduled test of Russia's new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on July 15 was a failure, the Defense Ministry's press service said on Thursday.

    "The missile self-destructed after a malfunction of the first stage," the ministry said.

    The missile was fired from the Dmitry Donskoi strategic nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea, off Russia's northwest coast.

    "A naval commission will investigate the cause of the missile's self-destruction," the ministry said.

    Six of the 11 test launches of the Bulava have ended in failure. The launches were temporarily suspended and the missile components were tested in the labs after a series of previous failures.

    Russia's Defense Ministry has said, though, it planned to conduct up to five Bulava tests in 2009 and put the SLBM into service by the end of this year.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

    The Russian military expects the Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20090716/155543654.html


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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Turk1 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:06 am

    Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:11 am

    Bulava missile self-destructs due to malfunction

    18:5917/07/2009

    MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik) - The latest test launch of the new Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile has failed. The missile self-destructed after its first stage malfunctioned when it was fired on July 15 from the submerged Dmitry Donskoi strategic nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea.

    In all, seven of the 11 test launches of the Bulava have ended in failure.

    Russian Navy chief Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov ordered the creation of the Bulava SLBM in 1998 after three failed tests of the experimental Bark solid-fuel, sea-launched ballistic missile of the Makeyev design bureau. The order was placed with the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, which promised to create a cheaper and smaller system comparable to another project by the Institute, the Topol-M ground-based ballistic missile.

    Of the 11 test launches of one mockup and ten live missiles, only three test launches of live missiles succeeded. Therefore, the missile will not yet be put on combat duty.

    The Bulava has a record low safety ratio, approximately 30%, which is even lower than the ratio of the D-19 launch system with the R-39 SLBM - nine failures out of 17 test launches. After the bugs had been removed from the D-19 system, it showed reliable safety - 11 successful launches out of 13.

    Russia has an alternative to the Bulava missile, the RSM-54 Sineva (NATO codename: SS-N-23 Skiff), a third-generation, liquid-fuel ICBM that entered service with the Russian Navy in July 2007. It was created at the Makeyev design bureau and can carry four to 10 nuclear warheads, depending on the modification.

    Currently, the Sineva missile has been supplied to three Project 667 submarines - K-114 Tula, K-117 Bryansk, and the recently modernized K-18 Karelia.

    The Sineva has a longer range than the Bulava - 8,000 km, or 4,972 miles - and a larger payload. But the Bulava has a number of advantages, such as a much smaller takeoff trajectory, which complicates its interception by air defense systems, a smaller weight and dimensions, and solid-fuel engines. The latter simplifies its maintenance and use.

    However, all these are only theoretical advantages compared to the Sineva, which has recently had two successful test launches, on July 13 and 14.

    There are quite a few examples in Russian history when seemingly promising projects were curtailed after unsuccessful trials. One of the best-known examples is the N-1 booster designed to deliver 40-50 ton manned spacecraft into space, to orbit and then land on the Moon.

    The stubbornness with which the military continue the test launches of the Bulava makes one think that it is not engineers, scientists and the military, but auditors who should analyze the reasons for its failure.

    They should not look for "subversives" among workers and engineers, who are working hard to create the country's military systems for a meager monthly pay of 10,000-20,000 rubles ($631). Instead, they should call to account the highly paid directors of defense enterprises, who watched impassively as years of hard work and tens of billions of budgetary rubles were squandered.

    In the Soviet period, when the government closely monitored research and technical projects using methods that have since been denounced as inhumane and unjustified, plant directors and heads of design bureaus were sometimes victimized for lesser failures.

    Somehow, it seems improbable that anyone will be as much as fired for the failure of the Bulava.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30) missile carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borei-class Project 955 nuclear-powered submarines.

    http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20090717/155551228.html

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    Russia again postpones new Bulava tests!

    Post  Russian Patriot on Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:59 pm

    Russia again postpones new Bulava tests

    RIA Novosti

    24/11/200919:30

    MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti) - A new test launch of Russia's troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) will be carried out by the end of 2009, a defense industry source said on Tuesday.

    The launch was tentatively scheduled for November 24 but has been postponed for the second time since the latest failure in July.

    "The Defense Ministry and the manufacturer still have a number of issues, including technical, to resolve before the Bulava can be tested again sometime by year's end," the source said.

    The Bulava's development has been dogged by a series of setbacks and has officially suffered six failures in 11 tests so far.

    The latest Bulava failure during the launch from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the North Sea was caused by a defective steering system in its first stage, according to military officials.

    The future development of the Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry experts, who have suggested that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.

    But the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready to be put in service with the Navy.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear-powered submarines.

    The Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, is expected to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2009/russia-091124-rianovosti01.htm

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  sepheronx on Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:19 am

    The Bulava program has been plauged with ongoing problems. Do I blame the manufacture? Yes, but it is also the fault of lobbiests to keep this program going, and just use the Sineva instead.

    The Bulava has had problems from faulty manufacturing to probably pro-longing development, just to get financial aid from the government.

    Hopefully the changes will help the Bulava program move further.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:51 am

    Russian defense minister insists on Bulava missile developmentRIA Novosti

    24/12/200900:34

    MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian military will not abandon plans to develop the troubled Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the defense minister has said.

    The latest launch of the missile, which Russia hopes will be a key element of its nuclear forces, from the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine in the White Sea ended in failure on December 9. Only five of 12 Bulava launches have been officially reported as being successful.
    "We will certainly not give up the Bulava. I think that despite all the failures, the missile will fly," Anatoly Serdyukov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta published on Thursday.

    The minister cited a number of reasons for the failures of Bulava tests, including attempts to replace specific materials with cheaper substitutes and obsolete manufacturing equipment.

    "Overall, there are a number of problems and, unfortunately, they cannot be solved as quickly as we would want," Serdyukov said.

    The further development of the Bulava has been questioned by some lawmakers and defense industry experts, who have suggested that all efforts should be focused on the existing Sineva SLBM.

    But the military has insisted there is no alternative to the Bulava and said the next test launch of the missile could be carried out as early as in January.

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage solid-propellant ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear-powered submarines.

    The Bulava, along with Topol-M land-based ballistic missiles, is expected to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2009/russia-091224-rianovosti05.htm

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Hitman on Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:04 pm

    This is no good. Those Bulava missiles keep failing. The results are even worse than the american GMD. I just hope they`ll fix it soon enought.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Mon May 10, 2010 6:10 am

    Actually according to Wiki of the first 12 tests of THAAD only 4 were considered successful, so it is not alone in having a troubled development history.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:12 am

    Ministry of Defence has appointed a test of the Bulava in August

    Tests of the Russian intercontinental ballistic missile sea-based Bulava will resume in August 2010 , Interfax reported citing a source in the main headquarters of the Russian Navy . As expected missile launch will take place from the White Sea on board the nuclear submarine Dmitry Donskoy . In total in 2010 will be made three launch. One start-up will be carried on board submarines of Project 955 " Borey " Yuri Dolgoruky .

    According to the source agency , alternative Bulava , which should become the main armament of cruisers project 955/955A/955U Borey , no . For this reason, a series of tests will in any case brought before the end of the rocket will be adopted . Recall was originally planned that the Bulava will be on the Russian Navy until 2009 .

    Previously, it was announced that a special State Commission into the causes of unsuccessful launches of the Bulava , has decided to continue testing . Previously, it was expected that the committee formed in early April 2010 , to unveil the results of an investigation until the end of May, but they have not yet been announced . In late May, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said the missile tests would resume this fall , not summer , as planned. The postponement was the need for monitoring the production of missiles.

    A total of 12 launches were made of the Bulava , five of which were found to be successful . The last execution took place on 9 December 2009 and , like most , proved unsuccessful. For each unsuccessful run technical problems were detected in different sites missiles that do not allow to determine the exact cause of failure. According to chief designer of the Bulava , Yuri Solomon , a rocket failure associated with violation of technology and inadequate quality control.

    Solid-fuel Bulava is capable of carrying multiple independently targetable nuclear warheads up to 150 kilotons each . The missile range is about eight thousand miles.

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    Russia's Bulava missile hits target in test

    Post  Viktor on Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:13 am

    MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - A test warhead from a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile successfully hit its target on the Kura test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
    The missile was fired from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the White Sea.
    Bulava test launches were put on hold after a failed launch on December 9, 2009, which was caused by a defective engine nozzle.
    The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered seven failures in 13 tests.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Oct 07, 2010 2:43 pm

    About damned time... if the rest of testing for the year goes this well. The system could enter service next year.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:59 am

    The first ten launches of THAAD resulted in 7 failures too.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Austin on Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:31 pm

    I think its a small beginning before a long journey ahead , since this is a production problem this issue may just come up any time and stare them.

    They should completely overhaul production base of Bulava irrespective if the coming few test succeeds or not.

    Else Bulava is a very capable missile and atleast a generation ahead compared to Topol-M and Sineva in technology.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:04 am

    Bulava is not a new generation ahead of Topol etc.

    In fact Sineva has better performance.

    AFAIK Bulava was a risk giving a company with experience with solid fuelled rockets but no experience making SLBMs the sole responsibility of making the standard Russian SLBM.

    It is a bit like the Russian AF decree to withdraw all single engine fighter and fighter bomber aircraft from service in the 1990s without evidence that twin engine aircraft had a better safety record.

    The Russian Navy decided that solid fuel missiles were safer in subs than liquid fuelled missiles.

    Now that was true with old liquid fuelled missiles, but with newer missiles it was not true.

    Old missiles had to be kept unfuelled and pressurised till launch time and it took half an hour or more just to fuel them up ready for launch.
    Current missiles use storable liquid fuels so you load the empty pressurised missiles into the launch tubes, which include piping inside them for fuelling the missiles. Once the missiles are loaded into the tubes you fuel them up via a pumping station on the wharf.
    The missiles remain fuelled and ready to fire from when the sub leaves the port to when they return just like a solid fuel rocket.

    There were lots of cases of fuel leaks where the fuel on contact with sea water caused problems but then there was a Typhoon class sub nicknamed Red October because one of the missiles (SS-N-20 which was solid fuelled) was dropped onto the front of the conning tower and burned into the material that covered the sub.
    Solid or liquid they both need careful handling and are prone to burst into flames violently when mishandled.

    If all three launches go OK then it will be clear the problem was quality control and that is something that can be dealt with.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Austin on Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:31 am

    GarryB Bulava is almost a generation ahead than any missile in Russian Inventory be it Topol-M ,RS-24 or Sineva , that is one of the key reason why Russians are persisting with this program inspite of so many failures , because its a technology leap that Bulava is making for Russian ICBM program.

    I am trying to write a comparision between Bulava , Topol-M,RS-24 since they come from same design bureau and will try to point out how Bulava is better then all including Sineva will take a week but hopefully will have something by then.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:42 pm

    Well the real world performance of the Bulava and Sineva shows Sineva is a much more capable missile.

    In a direct comparison the Sineva is 40.3 tons compared to Bulava which is 36.8 tons, but the Sineva carries more warheads further.
    Sineva is slightly longer and narrower than Bulava.

    At the end of the day the Bulava carries 6 warheads and can throw them 8,000km, while the slightly larger and heavier Sineva can carry 10 warheads and throw them 11,500km.

    Bulava might have super lightweight graphite construction or super light warheads, but in practical terms going from Delta IV to Borey means a reduction in reach by 3,500km.

    The whole concept of Bulava was that ideal of a standarised missile with a TOPOL-M on land and Bulava naval version at sea.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Austin on Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:46 pm

    GarryB wrote:Well the real world performance of the Bulava and Sineva shows Sineva is a much more capable missile.

    In a direct comparison the Sineva is 40.3 tons compared to Bulava which is 36.8 tons, but the Sineva carries more warheads further.
    Sineva is slightly longer and narrower than Bulava.

    At the end of the day the Bulava carries 6 warheads and can throw them 8,000km, while the slightly larger and heavier Sineva can carry 10 warheads and throw them 11,500km.

    Bulava might have super lightweight graphite construction or super light warheads, but in practical terms going from Delta IV to Borey means a reduction in reach by 3,500km.

    The whole concept of Bulava was that ideal of a standarised missile with a TOPOL-M on land and Bulava naval version at sea.

    Throw up weight of any missile is a function of the weight of Nuclear Warhead ,Accuracy, Numbers.

    Sineva carries warhead of old generation and are passive warhead. Bulava carries modern warhead and is light weight plus its MIRV is active type.

    If I extend your logic then both RS-24 and Topol-M are inferior just because it has a lower throw up weight than Sineva

    The range of Sineva and Bulava is the same.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:06 pm

    Personally ,Sineva would be a more logical and cost efficent choice.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:46 am

    And a lot of Russians agree with you Russian Patriot.

    Still they have gambled on the Bulava and I am sure it will succeed.

    It is hardly the first time a system has entered service incomplete... the Typhoon (Akula SSBN) class entered service something like 3 years before its (Solid fuelled) SS-N-20 SLBM missiles were ready. The Udaloy entered service without its Klinok air defence missile system installed.

    If the tensions were hot between Russia and NATO then it might be more of an issue, but the reality is that their use is rather unlikely and becoming less likely as time goes on. Of course it is like life insurance... you get it because if you need it and you don't have it you will wonder why you didn't get it. Cool

    The range of Sineva and Bulava is the same.

    Then your figures are not the same as the ones I have. Sineva = 10 warheads with a range of 11,500km, Bulava = 6 warheads with a range of 8,000km.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Austin on Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:44 am

    Though Sineva is a fairly good missile its carrier platform wont last beyond 12 years from now and Delta 4 has its design root in 80's and is already a legacy design.

    The whole idea to use liquid fuel no matter how safe they have been proven in the past it is always a ticking time bomb in the sub ready to explode , since the sub has other explosive material like Torpedoes on board.

    Solid fuel is quite safe and the right choice and contrary to the problem that Bulava has seen it gives Russian industry a generational leap over any thing they have now. Bulava is a front end of technology and is the right way to move forward.

    Failure of Bulava program means failure of Russian Defence Industry to leap forward in technology , that is the key reason why Russian Industry and MOD is persisting with Bulava inspite of so many failures.

    GarryB dont go by open source information on range , till the time Sineva was tested to its full range of 11,500 km its official range was quoted as 8000 km every where , Bulava and Sineva has the same range as comfirmed by MITT head Yuri Solmonov.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:38 am

    The current START treaty about to be ratified by both sides limits both sides to about 1,500 warheads each.

    To keep the triad going that means 500 warheads in planes, 500 warheads in land based missiles, and 500 warheads at sea in SLBMs.

    Right now according to this infographic: http://visualrian.com/storage/OriginalWM/3992/95/399295.jpg

    They have 8 Delta subs in the Northern Fleet and 5 in the Pacific Fleet.
    A total of 13 subs each capable of carrying 16 missiles per sub and each missile capable of carrying lots of warheads. Lets assume each missile is only carrying 4 warheads for extra range and of course decoys etc. That means they currently have 13 x 16 x 4 warheads or 832 warheads. Even if half that fleet are decomissioned in the next 5 years that means that there will still be 416 warheads on boats. It is not the end of the world because the difference in allowed warheads can be compensated by the other two legs of the triad maintaining their warhead numbers above 500 each till the Bulava is ready.

    To be brutally honest 1,500 warheads is a lot and if you add to that all the thousands of tactical nuclear weapons then I think Russia is safe from attack from external sources.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Austin on Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:47 am

    Well most of the Delta 3 fleet is old and has reached obsolescence that leaves only the 6 capable Delta 4 which are upgraded with Sineva , I would expect atleast 2 of the 6 fleet to be unavailable all the time due to what ever reasons maintenance,scheduled checks etc.

    I would expect 4 of Delta 4 to remain operational providing the deterrent.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  GarryB on Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:21 am

    So if they only have 4 subs then they can change the warhead loads on the missiles to the max and have 10 warheads per missile.

    4 x 16 x 10 = which is 640 missiles... which is too many.

    They could therefore download the warhead bus to 7 warheads per missile to increase range performance which means:

    4 x 16 x 7 = 448 warheads which is probably close enough...

    Even when tied in to the pier these vessels can engage most of their targets in the US because of the range of their missiles so a couple of obsolete subs could remain tied up at port with a skeleton crew with ready to launch missiles. They could even be the subs that target Europe and China.

    Of course the reality is that even if there is only 100 SLBM warheads in service for 3 years while Bulava is fixed I rather think the US will not be tempted to have a go during a period of Russian weakness because even if it got that weak it could still wipe out any countries it wants.

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:55 am


    Next Bulava missile test postponed until later this year
    RIA Novosti

    19:56 14/10/2010

    MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not carry out the next test launch of its troubled Bulava ballistic missile in late October, as was previously planned, the chief of Russia's Armed Forces General Staff said on Thursday.

    The latest test launch of the Bulava missile on October 7 was successful. The missile, which was fired from the Dmitry Donskoy submarine in the White Sea, hit its designated target in the Kura test range in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka region.

    "We still need some time to analyze the results of the previous launch, but it is already clear that the missile performed well," Gen. Nikolai Makarov told reporters in Moscow. "The next test launch will be carried out later this year, but not in October."

    The Bulava (SS-NX-30), a three-stage liquid and solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), has officially suffered 7 failures in 13 tests.

    Bulava test launches were put on hold after a failed launch on December 9, 2009, which was caused by a defective engine nozzle.

    Makarov said that the missiles for the next two launches had already been manufactured under the strict supervision of the Defense Ministry, and are ready for testing.

    Two test launches of the Bulava are planned before the end of 2010: one from the Dmitry Donskoy sub, and the other from Russia's newest strategic nuclear-powered submarine, the Borey class Yury Dolgoruky.


    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/russia/2010/russia-101014-rianovosti01.htm

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    Re: Bulava SLBM Development Thread:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:34 am

    Oviously, the more payload is less range. An empty Sineva can go over 10,000km, but once you load it up with warheads the range falls to 8,000km or 6,000km with a full load. The same curve can apply to Bulava. A typical loadout is 4 warheads for an 8k range. The loadout of the Northwinds will be 64 warheads per boat.

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