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Northern Fleet HQ Confirms ICBM Successful Firing

ITAR-TASS 17 Jan 97
[By Vladimir Novikov]

MURMANSK, January 17 (Itar-Tass) -- The headquarters of Russia's Northern Fleet on Friday confirmed a successful firing of an inter-continental ballistic missile during Wednesday's one-day exercise for naval commanders. The general supervision of the exercise was maintained from board a strategic submarine cruiser (nuclear-powered submarine of Squid class) by Admiral Oleg Yerofeyev, Commander of the Fleet, the Fleet press service has announced. The submarine cruiser fired the ICBM from submerged position. The missile reached target within a pre-set time. It was this year's first firing of a sea-launched ballistic missile RSM-50 for Russia's strategic naval nuclear forces as well.

The missile warhead, fired from the Barents sea area, "with exceptional accuracy" hit target on the Kamchatka peninsula. The submarine was under the command of Captain 1st Class Sergey Smirnov, a spokesman at the Russian Navy press centre told Itar-Tass on Friday. According to the press centre, in 1996 sea-launched ballistic missiles were fired from nuclear-powered submarine cruisers of the Northern and Pacific fleets. The crews displayed excellent training standards and high combat readiness. The successful firing of the ICBM, in the opinion of officers at the Main Headquarters of the Navy, is the best illustration of the high degree of technical dependability of the sea-launched strategic missiles. According to an evaluation made by Defence Minister Igor Rodionov at a press conference on Thursday, the Northern Fleet "is an important component of the country's defence system."

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