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Russian submarine conducts full-range test of Sineva ICBM

Posted by Kris Roman on October 11, 2008


onderzeebootA Russian submarine has for the first time test launched the Sineva ballistic missile to its maximum range, an aide to the Russian navy commander said Saturday.

Captain 1st rank Igor Dygalo said the missile was launched Saturday from the Barents Sea to an equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean.

“For the first time in Navy history, the launch was not to the Kura test range in Kamchatka [Russian Far East], but to the area of an equatorial part of the Pacific,” Dygalo said, adding that the launch was made to check the preparedness of naval strategic nuclear forces.

The Sineva launch was made as part of the Dvina tactical exercises of the Russian Northern Fleet, which are also part of larger-scale Stability-2008 exercises conducted with Belarus that started in September and will run until October 21.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived on board the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier Saturday to observe the military exercises.

The Barents Sea portion of the drills involves more than 5,000 military personnel, eight surface ships and five submarines.

The exercises test Russia’s strategic and regional deterrent and the structures of the Northern Fleet, particularly in relation to the naval strategic nuclear forces.

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 July 2007. It has a maximum range of 8,300 km (5,200 miles) and can carry four or 10 nuclear warheads, depending on the modification.

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces said last year that Russia would conduct at least 11 test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2008 and would double the number of launches after 2009 “to prevent the weakening of Russia’s nuclear deterrent.”


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