A new Russian nuclear submarine is set to launch on December 19, setting sail with as many as 16 of Russia’s next-generation nuclear missiles on board as President Vladimir Putin continues to rebuild his country’s nuclear defenses. The new sub, named K-551 Vladimir Monomakh, already conducted a successful test firing of an ICBM which, when the vessel officially launches, would carry a nuclear warhead. The test firing happened on September 10, when the nuclear submarine fired a single “Bulava” ballistic missile from a position in the White Sea at a target inside Russian territory. The K-551 Vladimir Monomakh will become the third nuclear submarine in the state-of-the-art Borei-class sub series, each armed with 12 or, according to some sources, up to 16 nuclear missiles. By the year 2020, Russia plans to have added eight of the Borei-class nuclear submarines to its fleet.
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