Russia successfully test-fires sea-launched ballistic missile

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Moscow, Dec 25 (UNI) Russia today successfully test-fired an inter-continental ballistic missile from the Tula nuclear submarine of the Russian Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.

''The launch has been conducted from an underwater position,'' Russian Navy's spokesman Capt (3rd rank) Igor Dygalo said.

''A simulated warhead hit the target at the Kura testing ground at the designated time,'' RIA Novosti quoted him, as saying.

The K-114 Tula (Delta IV-class) nuclear submarine of the Northern Fleet fired a new-generation Sineva intercontinental ballistic missile from a submerged position, targeting a test site on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East.

The RSM-54 Sineva (NATO designation SS-N-23 Skiff) is a third-generation liquid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile that entered service with the Russian Navy in June 2007. It has a reported range of 5,500 miles and can carry four nuclear warheads.

On December 17, the Tula submarine test-fired a Sineva inter-continental ballistic missile, which is capable of penetrating any existing missile defences.

A dummy warhead hit a target at the same testing grounds in Kamchatka with high precision.

The submarine, built in 1987, has been modernised at the Zvyozdochka (Starlet) Engineering Plant in Severodvinsk in the Arkhangelsk Region. It is equipped with 16 Sineva ICBMs missiles and 12 torpedoes.

Delta IV-class submarines currently form the mainstay of Russia's strategic nuclear submarine fleet. Seven of the series were built between 1984 and 1992.

Russia's Strategic Missiles Forces (SMF) recently said that the country would conduct at least 11 test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles next year and would double the number of launches after 2009 ''to prevent the weakening of Russia's nuclear deterrence under any circumstances''.

UNI

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