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Consequences for Russian Missile Crash Will Be Harsh, Official Says

The people responsible for the crash of a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile at the start of September will be held accountable and possibly fired, a Russian military official told reporters Friday.

The solution to the problem of the Sept. 6 launch failure of a Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) will be "implemented very harshly," said Oleg Bochkarev, deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, adding that personnel would not be exempt from the consequences for the launch's failure.

"Of course they'll get to the bottom of it, don't doubt it for a second," he said.

Bochkarev said that the commission is still investigating what caused the missile to malfunction in the second minute of its flight during state trials of the Alexander Nevsky nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea.

He told RIA Novosti earlier this week that all Bulava missiles from the same batch as the one that failed on Sept. 6 will undergo additional tests by their manufacturer.

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also ordered that trials of two nuclear submarines be halted as a result of the crash.

Including this latest failure, 8 out of 20 test launches of the troubled Bulava have been officially declared unsuccessful.

Despite repeated problems with the missile, the Russian military maintains that there is no alternative to the three-stage Bulava, which carries up to 10 MIRV warheads, has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) and is designed for deployment on Borey-class nuclear submarines.

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