A Defense Ministry source tells RIA Novosti that Bulava SLBM testing will resume between 15 and 17 June. The test launch will come from modified Proyekt 941U SSBN Dmitriy Donskoy, though the source claims Borey-class SSBN Yuriy Dolgorukiy is ready to fire the missile.
Recall that Proyekt 955 Dolgorukiy was back at Sevmash for work this winter.
The source says the first launch from Dolgorukiy will come after two successful firings from Donskoy.
Bulava now has 7 reported successes in 14 tries. There will be 4-5 tests in 2011.
If they are successful (and at least a couple come from Dolgorukiy), the SLBM and its intended submarine will be accepted into the Navy inventory. And serial production of Bulava will ramp up.
If they aren’t, the naval strategic modernization effort will find itself back where it was prior to two successful launches last October.
But the Russians seem pretty confident this time around.
If it works, Russia will have the tools it needs to build the world’s strongest ballistic submarine fleet, once again.