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Navy Reports Successful Test Launches of SLBMs

Moscow INTERFAX 16 Jul 96

MOSCOW, July 16 (Interfax) -- The Russian Navy carried out planned test launches of sea- launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) from atomic submarines on June 28 and July 15. The crews of the submarines were finishing their combat training, Chief of the Russian Naval headquarters operations department Viktor Patrushev told Interfax in comment on exercises carried out by the North and Pacific Fleets.

Such launches take place approximately five to six times a year, he said. Their aim is to verify the combat- readiness of the missiles, to test new systems and to train the crews. Two submarines of the Delta-III and Delta-IV class (NATO's classification), of the second and third generations respectively, took part in the combat training of the North Fleet.

The submarines, commanded by Captain First Class Sergey Gudkov and Captain First Class Nikolay Mastyaev, launched two SLBMs of the RSM-40 and RSM-54 types on July 15. The warheads hit conditional targets in the waters of the Pacific Ocean and in Kamchatka with precision. Missiles stored for a long time were used for this launch. The sea strategic nuclear forces were training new methods of combat control in interaction with other services of the Russian strategic nuclear forces and an anti-rocket surveillance system.

This is the second successful launch of SLBMs from Russian submarines over a short period of time. Three submarines successfully launched three missiles from the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk on June 28 against a combat field situated in the northern European Russia. These launches, carried out in the year of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Fleet, the 90th anniversary of Russia's submarine forces and on the eve of Navy Day, were planned checks of the country's strategic nuclear forces, the press center said.

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