Today’s Kommersant cites Interfaks saying a session of the state commission deciding on the next Bulava SLBM test will happen during the next week. Kommersant’s own OPK source confirmed this, calling the session a formality since the commission’s already announced that testing needs to continue in the near future. The source says, after the commission meets, another week is needed to prepare for a launch, so look for the next test in late August or early September.
Kommersant quotes an unnamed OPK official who said the planned launch in the 11-13 August timeframe was postponed because “additional stand tests of the system were conducted with the goal of more rigorous preparation for the launches.”
Kommersant reminds readers three launches are planned before year’s end — two from Dmitriy Donskoy (proyekt 941U Akula) and one from Yuriy Dolgorukiy (proyekt 955 Borey).
The paper’s OPK source claims, in view of Bulava’s failures, “this strategic missile system will only be accepted into the inventory after a minimum of five consecutive successful tests.”