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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bulava Missile Fails Again

An experimental Russian ballistic missile veered off course shortly after having been launched from a nuclear submarine and fell into the sea Wednesday in its second consecutive launch failure in as many months, officials said.

The Bulava missile was launched from the Dmitry Donskoi nuclear submarine underwater in the White Sea toward a testing range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, but it veered off its designated flight path minutes after the liftoff. The missile self-destructed and its fragments fell into the sea, the Navy said in a statement.

The botched launch signaled serious problems with the much-lauded Bulava.

The previous Bulava launch, from the same submarine on Sept. 7, also ended in failure, prompting Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov to urge quick action to prevent the mishap from damaging plans for commissioning new Borei-class submarines.

Three such submarines currently under construction are to be equipped with Bulava.

The two previous flight tests of Bulava missiles in 2005 were successful, and in another test in 2004 that did not involve firing the missile's engines worked well, news reports said.