Russia & CIS Defense Update – November 16, 2011


Russia to conduct test launch of Bulava missile in November

Bulava missile launched from a submarine

November 16, 2011: Russia will carry out the last test of the Bulava ballistic missile this year by the end of November, a defense industry source said on Wednesday. The upcoming test will employ a salvo launch of at least two missiles, to be fired from the Yury Dolgoruky, the first Borey class strategic missile submarine.
The planned test is the 18th in the Bulava program and the fourth this year. The program has recovered this year, after a setback caused by repeated failures in previous years, officially blamed on manufacturing faults, the Russian military has insisted that the Bulava will be the main armament of the next generation of strategic submarines. The missile carries up to 10 multiple independent re-entry vehicles (MIRV) and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage missile was designed specifically for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines. The second Borey class submarine, the Alexander Nevsky, is expected to begin its second stage of sea trials this week. It is scheduled to enter service with the Russian Navy in 2012. Two additional Borey class nuclear submarines, the Vladimir Monomakh and the Svyatitel Nikolai (St. Nicholas) are under construction four additional submarines of this class are to be built by 2015.

Russia Tests New Version of Iskander SSM

November 15, 2011: The Russian rocket artillery units will soon be equipped with an improved version of the Iskander guided surface missile designated 9M723 , equipped with terminal image scene matching terminal navigation guidance. According to Russian sources, the missile’s accuracy has been doubled from 10 meter Circular Error Probable (CEP) to five meters. The missile can be armed with different loads, including tactical nuclear warheads. Its estimated maximum range is 280 kilometers. An Iskander launcher can also potentially fire cruise missiles. The first brigade armed with the missiles was formed in October this year. A total of 120 Iskander launchers are to be deployed by Russia by 2020.

65 Yak-130 Trainers for the Russian Air Force


November 14, 2011: The Russian Defense Ministry is expected to sign a contract with Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut, for the delivery of 65 Yak-130 advanced jet trainers to be produced over the next five years. A jet trainer/light attack, Yak-130 is a subsonic two-seat aircraft developed by the Yakovlev design bureau. The first planes were put into service with the Russian Air Force in 2009. The Yak-130, with a maximum combat load of 3 tons, is able to replicate the characteristics of several 4+ generation fighters.
In addition to the Russian air force, Yak-130 jet trainers were also ordered by Algeria and Libya. The Libyan contract has been frozen and is currently suspended, following the regime change. The Russian Air Force is also expected to order 28 Sukhoi Su-30SM multirole fighters (a specialized version of the thrust-vectoring Su-30MKI Flanker-H for Russian military) from Irkut in 2012. The first two aircraft of this type are expected to be supplied to the Russian Air Force in 2012.