Russian SLBM Gives Trident a Run for its Money

From an alert DT reader...

Russian Sub Test Fires Ballistic Missile: Navy Spokesmanbulava.jpg

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, MOSCOW Dec 17, 2007

A Russian submarine on December 17 successfully test-fired a new ballistic missile from the Barents Sea to the far east of the country, a navy spokesman said.

The Sineva missile was launched from the submerged submarine "towards the Kura test ground in Kamchatka," navy spokesman Igor Dygalo told AFP.

"The head section of the missile reached the test ground on time," he said.

Russian television showed the missile thrusting out of the sea at the start of its trajectory.

The Sineva, which has the NATO classification Skiff SS-N-23 and a range of 8,900 kilometers (5,500 miles), was brought into service by Russias navy this July.

It is designed to carry four individually targeted warheads, according to the Interfax news agency.

Our reader comments:

I was ready to issue kudos when it occurred to me that SS-N-23 (R-29RM) is not a new missile.

The people at GlobalSecurity.org state that: The R-29RM is a three-stage liquid-propellant missile carrying four or ten MIRV. Compared to the R-29R the missile has a larger launch weight (40.3 to 35.5 Tons) providing a heavier payload (2800 kg to 1650 kg) to a greater maximum range (8300 to 8000 km). The R-29M incorporates a number of significant design changes relative to the predecessor R-29R. Flight tested in 1983...deployed in 1986.

To some, it is considered the best in the world in terms of energy-mass ratio and provides better modernization potential compared to the "really, really new" Bulava SLBM. Because it is not new, does not make it unsuccessful, just not a new success.

"Power to the People" is what I say...Thanks to reader BD for the gouge.

-- Christian

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