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Russian Nuclear Sub Misfires During Putin-Supervised Drills – Reports

Defense Ministry / Youtube

A Russian nuclear-powered submarine misfired one of its missiles at large-scale military exercises presided by President Vladimir Putin on the country's northern coast last week, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Monday.

The Ryazan Delta III class nuclear-powered vessel was one of five submarines, more than 100 aircraft, 200 missile launchers and 12,000 troops involved in the Grom-2019 military exercises last week. Putin supervised Grom-2019 on the last of three days of drills on Thursday.

The Ryazan submarine fired only one one ballistic missile into a test range in the Barents Sea instead of the two that had been announced by the Russian military before the launch, Vedomosti reported.

“The second R-29R [missile] did not exit the silo launcher, and the submarine returned to its home base with an unexploded missile,” it wrote, citing two unnamed sources close to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

The R-29R is a Soviet-era missile that was first deployed in 1977.

The Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet, general staff and the defense industry will reportedly form a special commission to investigate the causes of the misfire. 

Last week's exercise aimed to test the readiness of Russia's command structure and how efficiently its orders are carried out.

Update: Russia's Defense Ministry denied reports that the failed launch of the second missile had been a contingent event, Interfax cited officials as saying Monday. The ministry added that the decision to not fire the missile had been made based on information received during a pre-launch inspection.

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