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22:09, 26 June 2017 Monday
Update: 17:09, 22 September 2012 Saturday

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Bulava tests postponed due to software glitches
Bulava tests postponed due to software glitches

The next test-launch of the Bulava missile from Russia’s second Borey class submarine, the Alexander Nevsky, could be carried out before the end of the year.

World Bulletin/News Desk 

Software glitches in the automated launch control system on board the Borey class strategic submarines has caused a new delay in scheduled tests of the Bulava submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), Russia Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

“There are technical problems involving software in the automated launch control system, and we are trying to fix them,” Serdyukov told reporters on Friday.

The minister expressed hope that the next test-launch of the Bulava missile from Russia’s second Borey class submarine, the Alexander Nevsky, could be carried out before the end of the year.

All previous test launches were conducted from the Typhoon class Dmitry Donskoy submarine and the first Borey class submarine, the Yuri Dolgoruky.

The Bulava (SS-NX-30) SLBM, developed by the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology (since 1998), carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles). The three-stage ballistic missile is designed for deployment on Borey class nuclear submarines.

Despite several previous failures, officially blamed on manufacturing faults, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to the Bulava.

Serdyukov also admitted on Friday that the handover of the Yury Dolgoruky submarine to the Russian Navy by the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) has been delayed again, this time indefinitely, due to a number of technical flaws.

“The USC has so far failed to deliver the Yury Dolgoruky submarine,” the minister said.

“I am not sure when they will fix all the problems [with the sub] – they are still not able to get it done,” Serdyukov added.

The Borey class is set to become the mainstay of the Russian Navy's strategic nuclear deterrent fleet, replacing the ageing Project 941 (NATO Typhoon class) and Project 667 (Delta-3 and Delta-4 class) boats. 



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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.