THE Russian military test launched its new Bulava intercontinental missile yesterday from a submarine in the White Sea, a major boost for the navy after a series of embarrassing failures.
"The launch has been successful according to all the parameters," spokesman for the defence ministry Igor Konashenkov told AFP.
The test was the first such launch from the Yury Dolgoruky strategic nuclear submarine which was specifically designed to carry the Bulava missiles.
All previous such launches had been made from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine.
The missile was fired in the White Sea in North European Russia and hit its target in the Kura firing area on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Pacific Ocean some 6000 kilometres away, Konashenkov said.
Russia plans to conduct four more missile launches this year, he added. If further tests are successful, the missile can be taken into the armed forces in late 2011 or early next year, Konashenkov said.
It was the 15th such test and the first such test this year, according to the defence ministry. Of the previous launches, only seven were successful, the defence ministry said.
The Bulava, which can be equipped with up to 10 individually targeted nuclear warheads capable of changing their flight trajectory, has a maximum range of 8000 kilometres.
Its incorporation into the armed forces is part of a wide-ranging military reform aimed at updating the armed forces' Soviet-era structures and equipment to bring them in line with the demands of modern warfare.
The missile is designed for use with Russia's new Borei class of nuclear submarines like the Yury Dolgoruky and Alexander Nevsky. Analysts have said the vessels risk being worthless unless the Bulava works.