Russia's military said it has successfully test-fired a long-range ballistic missile from a nuclear submarine, boosting the nation's weapons program that has been afflicted by a series of failed launches.

The Defense Ministry said the Bulava missile was fired Thursday from the White Sea off the country's northwestern coast from its Dmitry Donskoi nuclear submarine and successfully hit a designated testing range about 6,000 kilometers away in Russia's far eastern Kamachatka Peninsula.  

The missile had failed repeatedly in earlier trials, passing just five of the 12 previous launch attempts.

The Bulava is designed to dodge missile defenses and deliver multiple nuclear warheads.  It is the sea-based version of Russia's Topol-M surface-to-surface missile and is expected to become the chief weapon in the country's strategic missile force.

Test launches of the Bulava missile were put on hold last year after the series of failed launches - most of which the military traced to manufacturing flaws.

The military said it also plans to launch the missile from its new series of nuclear submarines called the Yuri Dolgoruky.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.