Russian Navy launches four Bulava ballistic missiles from Borei-class submarine Vladimir Monomakh

According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on December 12, 2020, the Russian Navy has launched four SM-56 Bulava ballistic missiles (SLBM) from the fourth generation Borei-class (Project 955) K-551 Vladimir Monomakh submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk, a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean.


According to a video published by the Russian Ministry of Defense on December 12, 2020, the Russian Navy has launched four SM-56 Bulava ballistic missiles (SLBM) from the fourth generation Borei-class (Project 955) K-551 Vladimir Monomakh submarine in the Sea of Okhotsk, a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Launch of Bulava ballistic missile from K-551 Vladimir Monomakh submarine of Russian Navy. (Picture source print screen video footage Russian MoD)


The K-551 Vladimir Monomakh is nuclear-powered Borei class (Project 955) submarine that was developed by the Rubin Design Bureau, and the chief designer was Sergei Nikitich Kovalev. The keel was laid down on 19 March 2006 at the Sevmash shipyard in Severodvinsk. It was launched in December 2012 and delivered to the Navy in December 2014.

The Vladimir Monomakh submarine is powered by an OK-650 nuclear reactor, AEU steam turbine, a shaft and a propeller. It can reach a submerged speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph) and a surfaced speed of 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) with an unlimited endurance restricted by food stores. It has a crew of 107 sailors.

The Vladimir Monomakh submarine is armed with 16 submarine-launched ballistic missiles developed in Russia, the Bulava (NATO designation SS-N-32).

The RSM-56 Bulava (NATO reporting name SS-NX-30 or SS-N-32, GRAU index 3M30, 3K30) is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) based on the SS-27 Topol-M, developed for the Russian Navy and deployed in 2013 on the new Borei class of ballistic missile nuclear submarines. The missile is 12.1 m long and has a diameter of 2.1 m (including the launch container). It weighs a total of 36.8 metric tones and is capable of carrying up to 10 warheads with each warhead having a yield of approximately 550 kt. The Bulava’s range has been slightly reduced by 2,000 km from the land-based Topol-M variant due to its conversion from land-based to submarine-based.

Citing the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance website, the Bulava missile has many modern designs that allow for increased effectiveness of the missile. It reportedly has a GLONASS receiver giving it the accuracy of its land-based counterpart. It has the intercontinental-range of the Topol-M but with the maneuverability of a submarine launched ballistic missile.


Russian Navy launches four Bulava ballistic missiles from Borei class submarine Vladimir Monomakh 925 002
Russian Navy Borei-class (Project 955) K-551 Vladimir Monomakh submarine. (Picture source Russian MoD)


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