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Russia Test-Fires Two New Nuclear Missiles

Russia successfully tested on Friday its two new Bulava intercontinental missiles, which experienced several failures in the past.

The Defense Ministry said the 12-meter-long Bulava, or Mace, which Moscow aims to make the cornerstone of its nuclear arsenal, was fired from a submarine in the Arctic White Sea and hit the target, a designated polygon, on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East.

"The launch was carried out from [a submarine in] submerged in the White Sea," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by RIA-Novosti as saying. "Its warheads reached the polygon [target] on time."

The Bulava had failed half of its previous trials, calling into question the expensive missile program. The previous launch in June from the same submarine was a success though.

A Bulava missile weighs 36.8 tonnes and can travel a distance of 8,000 kilometers carrying six to 10 nuclear warheads, which would deliver an impact of up to 100 times the atomic blast that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.

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