Amid growing tension with the US, Russia has successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles for the first time from the state-of-the-art Borei class nuclear-powered submarines, Vladimir Monomakh.
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The Russian defense ministry has released a video showing the launch of RSM-56 Bulava (‘Mace’) ballistic missiles from the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia’s Far East towards their target some 5,000 kilometers away.
The ministry said that missiles hit their designated targets at a firing range in Arkhangelsk Oblast in the country’s north, just hundreds of kilometers from Finland.
A single Bulava missile is capable of carrying 6 to 10 warheads with a nuclear payload equivalent to 100-150 kilotons each. It could wreak havoc on any territory it hits.
The four missiles launched at once illuminated the night sky, providing a glimpse into how a nuclear apocalypse would probably unfold, Russian news website RT reported.
The ministry has 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.
The new Borei-class nuclear submarines, which can also carry torpedoes and Onyx and Kalibr cruise missiles, are intended to serve as the core of the naval component of the nation’s nuclear forces for decades to come.
The large-scale drills of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces that began last week were wrapped up on Saturday. After Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, tensions between the West and Russia have remained high. Both Moscow and Washington had withdrawn from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year.
The New START treaty between the two countries will expire in early February. Signed in 2010 by then-US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, the treaty restricts each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers and stresses on-site inspections to verify compliance.
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