|Russian nuclear forces took a hit recently when the latest test of the Bulava missile failed. The Bulava, a submarine version of Moscow's Topol-M, was lauched by a North Fleet submarine. This is the third time in a row that the Bulava missile has failed.
"The first stage performed well, the second stage performed well, but the third stage, not so well," stated Anatoly Perminov, head of the Federal Space Agency.
The two previous unsuccessful launches occurred September 7 and October 25 from a Russian missile submarine located in the White Sea. The first missile failed to reach its target, and the second was destroyed after it flew outside of its intended course.
The R-30 Bulava (SS-NX-30) ballistic missile was developed at the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology. The missile, a modified version of the land based Topol-M strategic missile now in service, can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads and has a range of over 5,000 miles.