Russia holds successful missile test
MOSCOW - Russia said a new sea-based ballistic missile made its first successful test flight Thursday after several previous failures, in what was the country's second major test of new rocket technology in a month.
Capt. Igor Dygalo, a spokesman for the Russian navy, told The Associated Press that the Bulava missile was fired from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in northern Russia's White Sea and hit its target on the Pacific peninsula of Kamchatka, about 4,200 miles east of Moscow.
President Vladimir Putin has hailed Bulava as a key component of Russia's nuclear forces for years to come, saying it has the ability to penetrate any prospective missile defenses. However, three earlier tests in recent years failed, raising doubts about the missile.
Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military analyst, said a successful launch would be a good sign for Russian missile forces, but he said he had doubts because of the Bulava's past track record and the military's penchant for secrecy.