The ministry has released footage of the ‘Prince Vladimir’ (Knyaz Vladimir) vessel shooting out the destructive Bulava missile in the White Sea, near the northwest coast of Russia. The test of Russia’s military power was carried out while the Borei-class vessel was submerged in the ocean. The test-missile successfully hit a target thousands of kilometres away in the region of Kamchatka.
The advanced weapon is understood to be comprised of six independently targeted warheads – each with the equivalent to 150 kilotons of TNT.
The combined 900 kilotons of explosive chemicals is believed to be 50 to 60 times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima by US forces in 1945, which was around 15 kilotons, Forbes reports.
The advanced weapon can also strike targets up to 5,000 miles away.
The defence ministry said in a statement: “For the first time, the strategic submarine Knyaz Vladimir test-launched the sea-based Bulava ballistic missile.”
The ministry added “its combat training units arrived at the training ground at a set time, which was recorded by means of objective control”.
The submarine is the first upgraded 955A model to be produced in the Borei class of Russian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines.
According to the Russian-state TASS news agency, the vessel will enter service with Russia’s Northern Fleet at the end of this year once it has completed trials including weapons tests.
The vessel’s name which translated to ‘Prince Vladimir’ was named after the Russian leader Vladimir the Great who ruled between 980 and 1015 A.D.
The newest acquisition to the arsenal of Russian weapons comes amid growing tension between Moscow and the west.
Earlier this year, the US pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty accusing Russia of violating the terms of the agreement, something the Kremlin denies.
The landmark treaty prohibits Russia and the US from possessing, producing or test-flying a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres.
Russia’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu has warned the US president may have trigger a new world arms race.
Mr Shoigu said: “The US withdrawal from the INF jeopardises the system of global strategic stability and may trigger a new arms race, remarkably not only in the European region, but in the Asia-Pacific region as well.”
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“However, I still believe it was not worth ruining the deal; I believe there were other ways out of the situation.”
He also urged Donald Trump to back a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty to replace the one which is due to expire in 2021, in order to prevent a race to acquire strategic nuclear weapons.