This afternoon a Navy Main Staff source told Interfaks the next Bulava SLBM test will occur in mid-August from modified proyekt 941 Akula (Typhoon-class) SSBN TK-208 Dmitriy Donskoy. This is earlier than previously announced. The Navy source also claimed that the new proyekt 955 SSBN Yuriy Dolgorukiy will be the launch platform for one of this year’s three planned Bulava tests. He also reiterated that Russian military men are committed to Bulava, seeing no alternative to it as the Navy’s nuclear deterrent for the future.
In May, Defense Minister Serdyukov said three identical Bulava missiles are being assembled in the hope of discovering a common flaw in their construction. Serdyukov said the next Bulava launch wouldn’t occur before November at the earliest.