Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back to the чертежная доска...

A test launch of the Navy's new Bulava submarine-based intercontinental ballistic missile ended in failure Tuesday, in just the latest setback in attempts to revamp the country's nuclear arsenal.

The missile went off course after being launched from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine and was ordered to self-destruct, a defense industry source told Interfax. No casualties or damage were caused by the explosion, the source said.

Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said Tuesday that the test launch had been carried out in the White Sea, but would not speak about the results, saying only that they were being studied.

Tuesday's test launch was the Bulava missile's 10th, five of which have been unsuccessful. The Navy had said before Tuesday that a successful launch this time would have allowed the missile to enter service next year.

Capable of carrying up to 10 warheads and with a range of up to 8,000 kilometers, the Bulava is being counted on to replace rapidly aging Soviet-era missiles to maintain strategic parity with the United States.
I can't say that I'm disappointed that the Russians are having difficulty with the Bulava. After all, this is the "keep up with the Jones's" strategy that the old Soviet Union followed during the Cold War...which, incidentally, put them in such bad financial straits that they were forced to relent.

Personally, I believe that Russia is moving back towards their old ways...if, in fact, they ever truly left them. Still, its nice to see them fail on such an expensive endeavor for the fifth time. It's even more enjoyable to see that the Russian media outlets (Moscow Times) are not barred from publishing the failure. So, there's more than one acorn in this piece.