Russia begins development of new SLBM strategic ballistic missile for future submarines

According to Russian doctrine, each new class of ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSBN) corresponds to a new dedicated model of SLBM, a strategic ballistic missile with submarine launch.

Thus the SSBNs of project 667, designated by NATO as the Delta type, which entered service from 1976 to 1990, were all armed with R-29 Underwater Strategic Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs), even if these These were declined in several models from the initial R-29 arming the Delta I and II, to the R-29RMU2 Layner appeared in 2014 and arming the latest Delta IV.

The successor to the R-29, the R-30 Bulava, was to arm the new Boreï class SSBNs. The development of this missile, for the first time assumed exclusively by Russia without the support of the know-how of the Soviet republics, was difficult to say the least.

Indeed, out of the 17 firing tests that took place from 2003 to 2016, not less than 8 were failures, including two successive failures in December 2011 and October 2016, causing a significant slowdown in the SSBN Boreï program.

The SLBM R30 Bulava entered service in 2018 aboard the SSBN Boreï and Boreï-A
The SLBM R30 Bulava entered service in 2018 aboard the SSBN Boreï and Boreï-A

The last 4 tests, in May 2018, August 2019, December 2020 and October 2022, were successful, putting an end to the more than palpable concern of the Russian authorities as to the future of the submarine component of their deterrence.


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