- New nuclear powered submarine ready for service
- Russia is building more submarines
- Kremlin: Ties with Washington ‘below zero’
Moscow, Nov 5: Russia’s new nuclear-powered submarine, the Imperator Alexander III, has successfully test-fired the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
Missile, this Federation of American Scientists Designed to carry six nuclear warheads, the missile was launched from underwater in the White Sea off Russia’s northern coast and struck a target thousands of kilometers away on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, the Defense Ministry said.
“Firing the ballistic missile is the final element of the state tests, after which a decision will be made on the ship’s acceptance into the Navy,” the ministry statement said.
Imperator Alexander III is the seventh of the Russian Project 955 Borey (Arctic Wind) class nuclear submarines and the fourth of the modernized Borey-A variant, according to Russian sources.
In NATO they are known as Tolgoruky class submarines, the first boat – Yuri Tolgoruky – became the first new generation nuclear submarine launched by Russia since the Cold War.
Borei class submarines have 16 Bulava missiles. The 12-meter (40-foot) missile has a range of about 8,000 km (5,000 miles).
Since coming to power in 1999, President Vladimir Putin has increased military spending and sought to rebuild Russia’s nuclear and conventional forces after the chaos that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
The war in Ukraine has caused the worst crisis in Moscow’s relations with the West since the depths of the Cold War, when Putin said last month he was not ready to say whether Russia should resume nuclear tests.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that relations with the United States were below zero.
“Relations are at zero – or I would say below zero,” Peskov said, although he added that at some point the leaders of Russia and the United States would have to resume contact.
“Putin has repeatedly said that he is ready for any contacts,” Peskov said.
According to current plans published by Russian media, Russia aims to build a total of 10 to 12 Bore-class submarines to be split between the Northern and Pacific fleets.
Three more Bore-class submarines are under construction: Knyaz Pozharsky, Dmitry Donskoy and Knyaz Potemkin. According to Russian media, two additional boats are also planned.
Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne and Guy Falconbridge in Moscow Editing by William Mallard and David Goodman
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