A Russian nuclear submarine on Saturday successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles in a show of readiness of Moscow’s nuclear forces amid tension with the United States.
The Defense Ministry said that the Vladimir Monomakh submarine of the Pacific Fleet launched four Bulava missiles in quick succession from an underwater position in the Sea of Okhotsk. Their dummy warheads hit their designated targets on the Chiza shooting range in the Arkhangelsk region in northwestern Russia more than 5,500 kilometers (over 3,400 miles) away, the ministry said in a statement.
The Vladimir Monomakh is one of the new Borei-class nuclear submarines that carry 16 Bulava missiles each and are intended to serve as the core of the naval component of the nation’s nuclear forces for decades to come. Another submarine of the same type performed a similar launch of four Bulava missiles in 2018 — a costly demonstration of the efficiency of the country’s nuclear deterrent mimicking the conditions of a major nuclear conflict.
In a report to President Vladimir Putin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Saturday’s launch wrapped up large-scale drills of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces that began Wednesday. As part of those maneuvers, another Russian nuclear submarine also performed a practice launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile from the Barents Sea, a ground-based ICBM was launched from the Plesetsk facility in northwestern Russia and Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers fired cruise missiles at test targets at an Arctic range.
The series of missile launches comes less than two months before the New START US-Russian arms control treaty expires in early February. Moscow and Washington have discussed the possibility of its extension, but so far have failed to overcome their differences. SOVEREIGNPH