SLBM Test Failures Halt Russian Submarine Development

Alexander NevskyThe Russians have experienced significant problems with the development of two new nuclear submarines after a submarine-launched ballistic missile malfunctioned, according to reports.

A Bulava missile failed in the second minute of a test after it was fired from the Alexander Nevsky submarine, according to a report by RIA Novosti. The Russian navy has started an investigation into the mishap.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu  suspended further tests for the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh to include five future missile tests.

The Russian Navy has experienced a string of problems with their SLBM tests from the two submarines. Eight of 20 tests launches have been deemed unsuccessful, according to RIA Novosti.

The testing delays will likely push back the plan to put the Alexander Nevsky into operation by Nov. 15.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • blight_

    That’s stupid. Keep spending money and “spiral” a new BM missile out of the failed program until you win, then spend billions rebuilding the submarines you have around the new missile.

    • patriot1

      8 out of 20 failed. That means 12 out of 20 were successful.


        Try saying that with armed nuclear warheads…

      • Foamheart

        Isn’t that a better percentage that the US miissle shield program?? Seems I read they were 0 for 4?

        • AmVet

          two different classes of missile.
          SLBM=Sea Launched Ballistic Missile indicating that it is launched at Sea from a submarine.
          The U.S. “Missile Shield” is a land based missile defense system.
          Two completly different systems, The only major similaries are the have fire on the bottom end and makes a boom on the pointy end.

          • Foamheart

            Thanks AMVet, I rode boomers, so I know that drill. But was refering to the sucess rate of our Missile Shield system we’ve been testing for oh, what? 10+ years and still having not gotten one to hit a target?

            Before we start trashing the other guys, remember that ours doesn’t always work either. And you can bet we sunk, (as in thrown to the bottom of the ocean), a bunch more money on ours.


        • NaVet

          Foamheart , I expect better on this forum. The GMD system sucess rate is at 47% including mutiple target engagements. THAAD’s is higher and the SM3 based system even higher than that.

          • Charles P,

            Why do you expect better on this forum? I expect complete ignorance on this forum.

      • Charles James Haas

        Really, did they hit their target. Did the warhead detonate (hard to verify as nukes are not actually used. How many no launch test aborts occurred. Just making a missile fly is not a complete success. There is a lot that isn’t being told. Russian are famous for thier Potemkim weapons systems.

        • Wulf145

          “Russian are famous for thier Potemkim weapons systems. ”

          Interesting, which ones are you refering to?

          • Pharsalus

            “Potemkin” means “Inaginary”

          • Pharsalus

            …imaginary, I obviously meant…

          • Wulf145

            Aktualy it means a mock-up or fake. It originated from the Episode of Admiral Potemkin creating a town composed of just House fronts for the Czar when he came to visit. see:

            So which of their weapponsystems are imaginary or just fake mock ups?

          • blight_

            Perhaps the episode where the Russians had to fly the same Tu-4’s over Moscow several times? Of course, that didn’t last long.

            Or the “missile gap”…which was actually the fault of American over-estimation, not Russian exaggeration. All Khrushchev said was we are making them like sausages…Americans filled in the blanks.

          • Charles P,

            S-300, Mig-29, Mig-31….all supposed to be wunderwaffen when they began to appear. None even remotely approach the performance levels they promised. PAKFA, the so-called stealth fighter, will probably be the best example of this yet. If they have 75 of them by 2025 I’ll eat my shoe.

          • Rest Pal

            The S-300, Mig 29 and Mig 31 have fared far better in meeting their design goals than the F-22, the F-35s, the Patriot 3 and some other “missile defense systems”

        • peters

          I haven’t seen any nation using real warheads when the test is really about the carrier. Plain stupid, ignorant post by Haas.

    • bum291

      Somehow, I see that being more effective than spending lots of money and then abandoning it, they have the money.

  • jack

    Putin lives in a fantasy world. The days of Russia being a Super Power are long since gone. Move on dude.

    • Andrew

      Why exactly? They still have one of the most formidable navies in the world and are one of the few countries actually capable of economic growth due to abundant exportable resources.

      • Lance

        I agree discounting Russia BIG mistake Hitler made the same comparison as you. I say the Russian Navy in none aircraft carrier terms is still the 2nd largest Navy around and still very formidable.

        • Bob Danley

          When I was on the U.S.S. Midway we used pride ouselves on being a part of the world’s second largest nuclear navy.

          • tritium

            Hi Bob,
            I assume your service would have been in the 80s (perhaps even earlier). However, I am perplexed by your comment about the USN having the second largest nuclear navy. I am pretty sure that since the commissioning of the USS Nautilus in 1955, the USN has had the world’s largest, most capable nuclear Navy ever since, and up to the present day. I suppose it is possible that at some point during the Cold War, the Ruskies may have possibly had more nuclear subs operating, but that would definitely be a case of quantity over quality. The fact that many Russian subs were tracked and shadowed by USN attack subs, almost from the moment they left port, is testimony to the qualitative superiority of USN nuclear sub technology…which continues to this day.

          • Phono

            Didn’t the russian subs have two reactors where the US used one? I would not give that much on quantification … As you said, you had the more sucessfull Navy – that’s what it about, isn’t it?


        Eh. Social reform needs to happen. Russia has been known to back some pretty terrible regimes (Ahem, Assad), so. PUUTIIIN.

        • Rest Pal

          Terrible regimes according to who? You? The US? That would be the antithesis of credibility and morality.

          The US backed rogue, murderous, totalitarian and / or corrupt regimes in South Vietnam, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq (incl. Saddam Hussein), Iran (1970s), and various countries in Africa and Central / South America.

          Read some real history books, will ya?!

      • Charles James Haas

        Most of their navies ships are early 1980 technology, not to mention thier actual age and condition. Their whole fleet has less capability that out cruiser fleet. Their current ships are frigates. They’ve turned to the French to develop assault landing ships. Finally, they have virtually no air support for their fleets. They do not possess a ship yard capable of building an aircraft carrier. Their main hope for their fleet exists with their Yasen class subs, the only modern submarine that is likely to equate to our Improved LA Class subs, two generations inferior to our current subs.

        • peters

          Most of American ships are 1980 technology. Even the F-22 are 1980s technology, ignorant one. Please educate yourself first before posting further.

        • Rest Pal

          Charles J***as, you seem to have a compulsive urge to post false information in substandard English and embarrass yourself.

          Allow me teach you this simple fact of life: first, just because you don’t know something exists doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Second, just because some proven BS’er says something doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

          You know exactly zip about Russian naval capabilities. I don’t know where you have been getting your BS claims but I suggest you start reading something else.

          No one with even half a brain will take you seriously.

          Btw, as peters points out, most of US assets were designed in the 1980s – Arleigh Burke destroyers. Ticonderoga cruisers are even older.

          As for your “comparison” of submarines, it’s pure BS.

      • smithjones

        What? Their navy is extremely decrepit.

    • BlackOwl18E

      Let’s face it, compared to Obama, he’s a badass. Everything Putin does benefits Russia.

      Obama doesn’t represent the will of the American people. He represents the will of the international community and he is willing to expend American blood, resources, and money for causes that are not in our interests. He’s about to get the sh*t knocked out of him in congress if they don’t agree to support his Syria strikes, but it looks like Putin is about to save him from himself by negotiating with Assad to hand over his chemical weapons to have them destroyed. I have a high amount of respect for Putin and it is clear that from the past few years he has often been a winner on the international scene, from the 2008 Russo-Georgia War to Edward Snowden. Now it looks like he will negotiate a deal that will avoid a larger war in Syria and make Russia show up the US one more time on the geopolitical arena.

      You can make jokes about Putin all you want, but he has pretty much b*tch slapped our president more than once and looked pretty damn good doing it.

      • depperson

        Hey yall elected him!! Putin is smart, his biography shows how diverse and goal oriented he is. Obama is just a lawyer, beginner politician that was hand picked by the democratic party. Of coarse he doesn’t stand a chance with putin. Mitt Romney bitch slapped him around too. Its a shame that America is so esleep and we didn’t have Mitt at least in there. None of this talk would be even happening. Mitt called out Syria ordeal two years prior to this administration calling upon action.

        • David Hliva

          Depperson, there are no elections in Russia. What they have over there are appointments, successor’s of who the DOMA wants to have in office. All the so called elections in Russia are rigged, and staged to make it seem there are fair elections, when in fact the people have no say what so ever who gets elected to any position in Russia. So i suggest you do some investigation and you will find out all this to be true.

          • mike

            Theyre not rigged here?

          • blight_

            Defense Of Marriage Act? Sounds like a fun place to be in!


        Former member of the KGB. Alarm siren. He has negotiated with Iran, N. Korea, Syria, Cuba, and god knows who else for weapons. Alarm siren. Isn’t Russia having a population problem? Alarm siren.

        I don’t like Obama, or anything, but you’re just stacking the good cards on Putin. He’s far from perfect (about as far as Obama, but closer than Bush, though anyone can do that)

        • Rest Pal

          As if the CIA, the FBI, and the federal courts were filled with saints.

          War crimes committed by the Bush admin. and the Obama admin. in Guantanamo Bay Torture Camp alone render the US the biggest rogue state in the world right now.

          • tiger

            Sigh……. Are You going to start singing “Blowing in the Wind” & other hippie stuff?

          • Rest Pal

            I’m singing it right now!

          • tritium

            Oh go knit a tree a sweater.

          • Rest Pal

            what size?

      • Nadnerbus

        Well said. You don’t have to endorse the man or his methods to acknowledge that he is much better at working for his own self interests as well as that of Russia (not always the same thing) than the current administration. He uses all the levers of power at his disposal, and is not ashamed to do so. And it’s clear that he, and many of the bad actors around the world, have no fear or respect for the US these days.

        How the mighty have fallen. It’s really pathetic.

      • Wulf145

        “Obama doesn’t represent the will of the American people. He represents the will of the international community and he is willing to expend American blood, resources, and money for causes that are not in our interests. ”

        Which Actions are you refering to? I don’t see the “international Community” pressuring Obama to do Drone strikes, attack other countries, spy on NATO governments and Companies.

        There is only a couple of Nation which are pressuring Obama to do anything against the interest of the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia – and that is by no strech of the Imagination the “international Community”.

      • Anthony

        You are such an idiot to bad mouth are president and honor that a****** Putin that has a lot of blood on them.Why don’t you leave the U.S.and go become Snowden’s roommate in Russia.You will not be missed!!!!!!!

        • BlackOwl18E

          Okay, you totally took that the wrong way. I am a very patriotic American. I love my country and I wouldn’t trade my citizenship for any other, but the fact of the matter is that right now our country elected a community organizer as its leader. Russia has in power a man who is a shrewd political shark with a Soviet educational up bringing and the background of one of the most feared intelligence organizations to ever exist, the KGB. Had we elected say a former Director of the CIA, I would say that we have someone of equal stature, but we didn’t and we don’t.

          If you do not respect your enemies, you lose perspective and get your @$$ handed to you. Right now it is ever more important to view Putin in the right perspective and to recognize that he is a formidable opponent, one of the best we’ve ever seen since the Cold War or even WWII. It’s also important to view our president in the right perspective when comparing him to Putin and recognize that Obama is not as experienced, not as well educated on politics, not as tactful in strategy, not as well versed in the game of competing superpowers, and definitely not as tenacious as Vladimir Putin. This why we have been losing and losing badly in every “skirmish” we’ve had with him.

          We need to rethink our strategy and remember that whoever we elect into office has to be able to go toe to toe with people like Vladimir Putin. Obama is not that guy. I desperately want him to be, but he just isn’t. Obama was elected at a time when the rest of the world hated us for what the Bush administration did and we wanted to get the world to like us again. Now what Americans want is to reject the role of being the world police and have someone who will just look after our own. Hopefully Obama’s advisers will see this and communicate this to him and hopefully he will adjust accordingly.

    • tmb2

      Russia doesn’t need to be a superpower like the USSR was to get its point across. It’s still the next door neighbor to everything interesting happening in Eurasia. Its geographic proximity, natural resources, and political history give it enormous clout in anything going on in that part of the world no matter how many or few nukes it has left.


        Eh. They have a permanent seat in the UN. Just veto everything is their plan.

    • Badger Fuller

      If you live within range of one of those ballistic missiles, they certainly are not a hasbeen superpower, few nations in the world could park a boomer off our coast and not be detected until it’s to late, if not a superpower then a major player on the world stage!

    • Sailor4165

      Be careful what you say, the days of US being a super power may very well be numbered as well. We have reveled our financial weakness to the work,née have wrecked our own economy fighting two unnecessary wars on credit, we have no budget approved by congress and facing a debt limit yet to be resolved. A few worldly events, like Syria, can have the US eating humble pie in a matter of minutes should we make the mistake of going to war.

    • Daryl

      They will be back.

  • Dr. Horrible

    They have “experience significant programs?”

    In Soviet Russia, Copy Edits You!

  • Dr. Horrible

    I mean “experienced significant programs?”

    In Capitalist America, Stones Ruin Glass Houses!

  • Belesari

    Don’t worry someone will blame us in the US.

  • Arthur Savard

    No …. not the US …..

    ….it’s that that damn …..

    …GW struck again …..

    ….even in old Vlad the Impaler’s navy!

  • WTK

    More junk from the Mafia State known as Russia. Pisstin and his gang of crooks seem oblivious to their demographic nightmare, fracking and subsequent destruction of their assumed energy revenue models, appalling manufacturing and tech industries and the fact his military would struggle to beat Poland.

    A joke of a country that still ignores its deal with Hitler and the massacre of 60,000 Poles in WW2.

    If the US had made a more affordable fighter than the JSF they could have consigned the Russian aerospace industry to the dustbin.


      Well. Yeah, sure…..

    • Rest Pal

      Easy now. The number is insignificant compared to that of dead native American Indians at the hand of the US government.

      Before the founding of the US, there were at least tens of millions of native Americans living in North America. What is their number now?

  • Lance

    Well I think Russia spent more time and Rubles on the new Borie class subs to replace old Typhoon and Kilo class subs than work on there new Missiles to be fired from new sub and the BIG bump in the road for Russian navy modernization plans. We cant brag like many here on many weapons we made the same mistake, (F-22 and life supports systems cough).

  • Charles James Haas

    Where is Restore Palestine to tell us how great foreign made weapons are?

    • Rest Pal

      Russian made weapons are great. e.g. the Su-27s, Su-30s, Su035s … all superior to their US counterparts. Same for Russian ballistic and cruise missiles, to which the US has no effective defense.

      Chinese made weapons are great. e.g. the J-10s, the J-11s, the J-20, and the J-31 … all developed in record time and record low expenditures, and cost tremendously less than their American counterparts. Their missiles are faster, more accurate and pack more power than their American counterparts.

      British and European made weapons are great. e.g. the Eurofighter, the Rafale, considerably more cost-effective than the F-22 and the F-35.

      • blight_

        I read “Inside the Soviet Army” like everyone else, and also caught the comment about Soviet export grade weapons being of inferior type to what the Russians kept at home; but it’s still not a good record for export weapons.

        The new Russian BM’s probably haven’t trickled out to the SRF yet (though if Putin is clever, he should re-arm the SRF /before/ the missile parades)

        • Rest Pal

          America’s export grade weapons are of inferior quality and capabilities than the ones supplied to US military. Same for most other weapon exporters.

  • William
  • William
  • James

    This is a news article? it seems more content was written in comments than in the article.

  • Jacques Daspy

    The USS George Washington was commisioned in 1959 and was operational with the Polaris missile in 1961. There were six SSBN in the fleet when the Kennedy debacle of 1962 (Cuban Missile Crisis) occured and probably saved his ass, along with 220 million other American asses.

    • rover411

      Right after 1962 missile crisis the Soviet Union built a submarine base in Cuba this was classified Top Secret so the reality of our “victory” was that Soviets had even more Intercontinental ballistic missiles there. No a word about this was told to American public. Rover radioman USN Destroyer Forces

    • KingNeptune

      Ex Patrick Henry ICman here. God Bless the USA!

  • Rick

    What else is new ? Russian subs have always had ongoing problems.

    • Rest Pal

      and yet they still scared the hell out of US navy commanders and sailors alike during the Cold War.

      • orly?

        uh, no.

        We easily tailed them all, they made them big, huge, and noisy.

        • Rest Pal

          LOL. that was part of the plan. See, that’s one reason why the Americans lose to small, weak opponents so consistently and frequently in war … they are easily fooled and manipulated.

          • orly?

            You don’t seem to understand sub warfare, or warfare in general it seems.

            You can’t fake large sound signatures of Soviet subs, and always having a torpedo pointed literally at your ass in submarine warfare is not a good thing.

            We could have easily sunk the entire Soviet sub force anytime we wanted. We just chose not to.

          • tempeAZ

            US navy commanders didn’t share your confidence. They said otherwise in Congressional hearings.

          • blight_

            You’re overthinking the fact that the Soviets were working with what they had. Building a huge legacy force that is expendable and takes your entire peacetime trained military with it is a terrible war plan. Just because the Soviet Union bounced back from losing its pre-Barbarossa western armies doesn’t suggest some kind of plan based entirely on throwing away millions of soldiers; I feel this is a lazy mental trick meant to discredit credible Soviet operational planning. They aren’t stupid, they’re just playing at a technological handicap and doing the best they can.

          • Rest Pal

            “Building a huge legacy force that is expendable and takes your entire peacetime trained military with it is a terrible war plan” —- not as much as the US. That the US had more money to spend didn’t make it any less so.

            The Soviets were certainly far from error-free in their judgments, but they are far better at deceptive tactics in submarine warfare than ignorant braggarts like orly can imagine.

          • orly?

            Who then was at fault at the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk?

            Both answers contradict your theories.

          • orly?

            Also the John Walker case shows strong evidence of how ignorant the Soviets were of being tailed.

  • KingNeptune

    Lest not forget when the great Bear finally dropped his Iron Curtain all his under garments were exposed. Between those lofty sheets were the true capability and quality of it’s Nuclear Forces including Submarines amongst other Secrets. It was found that the USSR was not anywhere near to the capability and quality of USA. This is not to say, the Bear still has many sharp teeth, but one could assume they are as always, covered with plaque and decay.

    • blight_

      As long as it’s good enough to deter the west from invasion, then it was working as intended. Perhaps they spent a little too much on the military…

      • tiger

        Russia should stick what they do well. Avg. talent blonde Tennis players, The AK rifle , & Vodka production…

        • Rest Pal

          So … if Russia’s thousands of nuclear warheads were to land on continental US in a shootout, there would be no serious damage or casualties?

          The Su-30s have consistently beat the F-15s in combat exercises. If the Russia is not good at fighter jet design, what does it say about the US?

          • tiger

            Equipment or the Man???? In the history of air combat it has been the better pilot that made the difference rather than the tools. As for warheads? It’s 2013 not 1962…….. Russia has no interest in nuking the USA today.

            You guys need to to deal with the bad guys of today, not back in the day. even 007 is not chasing SPECTRE anymore….

          • Rest Pal

            true. pilot’s technical expertise is vastly more decisive than the jet in combat BUT we compare the platforms assuming equally competent pilots in them.

            I’m sure the US air force and the Pentagon have long conceded that the Russian Su-30 can consistently beat the F-15s when flown by comparable pilots.

  • blight_

    “I’m just Putin it out there, I will order submarine production halted if you do not fix the SLBM launch problem!” ~Vladimir Putin, puttin’ it out there.

  • Parrish Quick

    Awwe! Thats so sad…NOT! I find it humorous personally!

  • Mike

    SU30 does NOT consistently beat F15. They did well at cope India when India’s best pilots flew against a regular US squadron out of Kadena but when they brought regular operational units to fly Red Flag they got pasted by F15s.

    This ignores the fact that you’re comparing a very modern Russian design to a much older American one. How would the SU do against F22?

    • Rest Pal

      You don’t know what you are talking about. The Russian Flankers have been beating the F-15s in dog fight exercises since the 1990s, starting with the Su-27.

      That doesn’t mean, however, that a stupid or poorly trained pilot can get into the Flanker and win a dog fight against a competent pilot flying the F-15.

      The Indian military has never been a model of competence.

      The Su-30 is NOT “a very modern Russian design” — it’s a modified Su-27 whose design started in the early 1970s.

      I don’t know how the Sukhois would do against the F-22. The US has refused Russia’s requests for dog fight exercises with the F-22. But I do know that the F-22 has been beat in dog fights by the Eurofighter and the Rafale.

  • serwis okien pabianice