|Russian submarine fires ICBM
MOSCOW, March 17 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Northern Fleet’s nuclear-powered submarine Novomoskovsk fired an intercontinental ballistic missile from the Barents Sea at 15:08 Moscow time on Wednesday.
The warhead of the Sineva missile accurately hit a target at the Kura testing ground on Kamchatka, the Russian Navy commander’s aide Capitan Igor Dygalo told Itar-Tass.
A Defence Ministry official told Itar-Tass that the RSM-54 Sineva missile, which is know as Scythian in the Western classification, was launched from the sea depth.
The Novomoskovsk and another nuclear-powered submarine, the Karelia, were to make combat training launches of Sineva missiles on February 17 and 18 during the massive command and staff exercises Security-2004 that were held in Russia on February 10-18.
However, the launches failed.
President Vladimir Putin, who watched the exercises, ordered to set up a commission for carrying out a probe “within a shortest time”.
He said the summary of the commission must contain not only “revealed causes of the failures but also proposals for abolishing them”.
The president also ordered another exercise of the submarines for making sure that malfunctions are eliminated.
The Defence Ministry’s commission has established that the Novomoskovsk’s system of underwater launches failed and was automatically blocked for safety.
A day later, a Sineva missile blasted off from the Karelia, but it veered off course at the 98th seconds of the flight and was annihilated by its self-destruction system.
The probing commission said in its preliminary summary that the missile’s control system could malfunction.
The missile-carrying strategic submarine Novomoskovsk (K-407) of Project 667 BDRM belongs to a Dolphin type that is called Delta-IV in the Western classification.
Seven Dolphins have been built since 1981.
Main arms of the submarines are 16 intercontinental missiles RSM-54 with liquid fuel engines.
The 167meter- long submarine with a crew of 140 can dive to a maximum depth of 650 meters.
At present, the Dolphin submarines are a main naval component of Russia’s nuclear triad.
Tests were conducted on one of Dolphins in 1990 with a simultaneous launch of all 16 missiles, as in real combat.
A Shtil rocket was launched in July 1998 from the Novomoskovsk and successfully delivered in orbit Germany’s satellite Tubsat-N.