Russians To Attempt SSBN Missile Launch
It looks like the Russians are giving it another try. Last year, they were embarrassed when planned ICBM launches from an SSBN failed miserably. Now, with President Putin on hand (and taking a lesson from President Bush's playbook, which says that everyone looks better in aviator gear) they're going to try again.
"The flagship of the Northern Fleet, the Pyotr Veliky cruiser, and Russia's sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, were already plowing the rough waters of the Barents Sea together with a group of smaller warships in preparation for a naval battle simulation planned for Wednesday, a Navy source told Interfax.
"More significantly, two Delphin submarines carrying RSM-54 Sineva ballistic missiles will participate in Wednesday's maneuvers, Kommersant reported. One submarine was to fire a Sineva across the country to hit a range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, while the other would serve as a backup should the first launch fail, the newspaper said.
"A nuclear submarine failed to launch a Sineva during a similar Northern Fleet war game attended by Putin in February 2004. A second Sineva was launched, but it had to be destroyed in flight after it veered off course."
The "Dephin" class boats are known in the West as Delta IVs, and the RSM-54 Sineva is the SS-N-23. As they say in "Ghostbusters": really nasty buggers. I'm always happy to see them fail, as they did last year (despite Russian denials of two of the failures). Last year's attempted launches, interestingly, were from the Delta IV Novomoskovsk (K-407), which some claim is the boat that collided with USS Grayling (SSN-646) in March 1993.
Edited at 1910 16 Aug to add "Missile" to the title to make it less confusing.
Updated 0525 17 Aug: Looks like at least one of the launches was successful.