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President witnesses stategic missile force's failure



: navy.ru




: Gazeta.Ru  : navy.ru

Two practice launches of an RSM-54 intercontinental ballistic missile from the Novomoskovsk submarine as part of major military exercises have proved unsuccessful. The exercises are being attended by President Vladimir Putin who is currently on board the Arkhangelsk nuclear submarine.


According to the plan of the military exercises taking place in the Barents Sea, the Novomoskovsk K407 submarine of the Northern Fleet was to carry out practice launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles and hit a target at the Kura range on the Kamchatka peninsula. The launches ended in failure with the missiles possibly exploding prematurely, though details remain unclear. There are no reports of casualties.

The unsuccessful launch was carried out in the Barents Sea not far from the place where Vladimir Putin was observing the exercises, on board the Archangelsk nuclear submarine. According to Gazeta.Ru sources, the missiles self-destructed shortly after they were fired from the submerged vessel and reached the water surface.

It is known that RSM rockets of various modifications, and the RSM-54 in particular, are launched from the missile silo by a pressure generator the rockets are fired by compressed air. The missiles inertia carries it through the water before the rockets engine starts.

According to Gazeta.Ru sources, the failure most likely occurred at the point when the rockets engine fires into operation.

The Novomoskovsk nuclear submarine involved in todays incident gained notoriety after it collided with the US nuclear submarine SSN-646 Grayling on March 20, 1993. The two ships collided while on combat duty in the Barents Sea. The Russian submarine sustained damages to the outer hull and had to be repaired at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severomorsk. The US submarine had to be decommissioned.

On Monday evening Vladimir Putin, currently on a visit in Severmorsk, boarded the Arkhangelsk submarine, which put to the sea at 1900 the same day. On Tuesday evening Putin is expected at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, where, in his presence, a practice launch of a Topol ballistic missile and a Molnia-M rocket carrying a military satellite will be conducted.

The military exercises are part of a huge training operation involving units and subdivisions of all types (land forces, air forces and the navy) and branches (airborne troops, space troops and strategic rocket troops), stationed in three military districts (Moscow, Leningrad and Volga-Urals), as well as the Northern Fleet. They are the largest military exercises to be carried out in Russia since the Soviet era.

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