Daily Archives: July 24, 2010

Defective Bulava Nozzle

That same highly-placed RIA Novosti source in the Navy Main Staff also said the next Bulava SLBM test will occur in August or September from Dmitriy Donskoy.  A favorable outcome would led to another test launch from Dmitriy Donskoy, then a third launch from the missile’s intended platform Yuriy Dolgorukiy.

RIA Novosti also reported a source — close to the state commission investigating the cause of the last failed Bulava launch — said yesterday that the cause of the unsuccessful December 2009 test was a malfunctioning rocket nozzle.  He said:

“The state commission established that the nondeployment of Bulava’s extendible nozzle between the missile’s first and second stages was the cause of the last unsuccessful launch.”

He added that the nozzle problem was not caused by a design flaw, but by a production defect, and the missile was simply made incorrectly.

RIA Novosti recalled that First Deputy Defense Minister Popovkin, on 30 June, said only that the commission had recommended continuing Bulava testing.  He didn’t comment on any conclusions on the cause of the last Bulava failure.

Buy Two, Build Two

RIA Novosti reported yesterday that the purchase format for Mistral helicopter carriers hasn’t been determined, but a Russian Navy source says a ‘2+2’ variant is possible.

A highly-placed Navy Main Staff representative told the news agency that Russia could buy two and build two of the ships, and such a ‘2+2’ scheme is being discussed in negotiations in Paris.  

Initially, Moscow wanted to buy one and build three under license in Russian shipyards.  But French President Sarkozy mentioned a ‘2+2’ format earlier this year.

RIA Novosti’s source said the two Russian-made ships might be built at Sevmash, Baltic, Yantar, or Northern Wharf.