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Russia: Missile Tests to Resume Within Weeks

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov says tests are set to resume this month on a submarine-launched ballistic missile that has failed repeatedly in earlier trials.

Test launches of the Bulava missile were put on hold last year after a series of failed launches, most of which, Serdyukov says, were traced to manufacturing flaws.

The Bulava is Russia's newest three-stage missile. It is designed to carry up to 10 nuclear warheads and can travel up to 8,000 kilometers.

Test firings have failed in seven of 12 launches, forcing the head of the institute developing the Bulava to resign in July 2009.

Yuri Solomonov quit the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology just days after a Bulava missile fired from a submarine in the White Sea exploded in mid-air.

The Bulava is the sea-based version of Russia's Topol-M surface-to-surface missile that is expected to become the chief weapon in the country's strategic missile force.