Russia’s defence ministry announced on Sunday that the new nuclear-powered submarine Imperator Alexander III had successfully conducted a test launch of the Bulava ballistic missile, which is designed to carry nuclear warheads. The ministry stated on the Telegram messaging app that the missile launch is the final step in the state tests, and a decision to accept the cruiser into the Navy will be made thereafter. President Vladimir Putin has been advocating for Russia to maintain its nuclear deterrent in response to what he perceives as increasing security threats, particularly due to strained relations between Moscow and the West following Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict in 2022.
According to the defence ministry, the intercontinental missile was launched from an underwater position in the White Sea off Russia’s northern coast and successfully hit a target on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Far East, thousands of kilometres away. The exact date of the test was not disclosed by the ministry. The Borei class strategic-missile cruiser, which is equipped with 16 Bulava missiles and modern torpedo weapons, played a crucial role in this test.
In December, Putin participated in a ceremony that marked the launch of the Imperator Alexander III, as reported by the TASS state news agency. Currently, the navy has three nuclear-powered submarines of the Borei class in service, with one undergoing tests and three more under construction, according to the defence ministry. The Bulava missile, measuring 12 meters (40 feet) in length and estimated to have a range of around 8,000 km (5,000 miles), can carry up to six nuclear warheads. It has become a vital component of Russia’s naval nuclear triad.
The article was reported by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne and edited by William Mallard, adhering to The Thomson RushHourDaily Trust Principles.
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