Russian ICBM test launch failed again
Friday, December 18, 2009
A recent Russian test of an ICBM last week was unsuccessful as a result of third stage engine failure. It happened during a test launch of the Bulava missile from 'Dmitry Donskoi' nuclear submarine early last Wednesday.
|The missile has probably come out of control and exploded, ... The peculiar spiral shaped light pattern comes from reflection of the sun in the leaking fuel.|
—Truls Lynne Hansen
A researcher at the Norwegian Geophysical Observatory, who witnessed the event reported that "[t]he missile has probably come out of control and exploded". He also noted the "spiral shaped light pattern", which was associated by some with an Aurora Borealis, or with the trace of an unidentified flying object of some kind before official confirmation from Russia came.
This became a 7th unsuccessful launch out of total 13 since 2003. Earlier faults were blamed on the subcontractors who supplied faulty missile stage separators.
|We'll keep working (on Bulava) despite the recent failed tests ... It was impossible to drop the Bulava project or to replace it with something else.|
—Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, Chief of the Russian Navy
Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology is known for designing Bulava as well as Topol and Topol M, which is a land-based ICBM of similar design mounted on the mobile carrier and already in military service in Russia.
Despite this failure, Russian Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky noted that it's impossible to replace the project with another or to drop it completely as a result of the recent test failures. Next launch is scheduled for January.
- "Next trial of Russian troubled Bulava missile could be in January" — , December 15, 2009
- "Russia to continue testing Bulava missile despite recent failure, says commander" — , December 15, 2009
- "3rd stage engine failed during Bulava missile test - Ministry" — , December 10, 2009
- Nancy Atkinson. "What was the Norway Spiral?" — , December 9, 2009
- "Top Russian ICBMs designer resigns after 6 failed launches" — , July 22, 2009
- "Bulava missile test failed due to faulty part - Defense Ministry" — , March 16, 2009