We have been following the developments of a military project in Russia codenamed: "Northwind" for 2.5 years now since first hearing about it from a Russian defense contractor working on the Bulava intercontinental missile tests.
Now we have independent details of the project including confirmation by multiple news agency sources, including Russia Today, of the purpose of the project.
It seems "Northwind"was considered a mission critical project of the Russian Strategic Nuclear forces.
On October 8, 2010 the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Nikoli Markarov reported to the President and Commander in Chief of all Russian Armed Forces, President Mededev on the successful testing of the new Bulava missile design.
The press office of the Ministry pf Defense reported that on Thursday the Strategic heavy nuclear submarine missile cruiser "Dmitry Donskay" (a TK-208, Akula class - Nato designation "Typhoon class) successful sea launch of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile. The launch was made Oct 7, 2010 from the White Sea to th eKura test site in Kamchatka - "all the warheads successfully hit their targets".
The ICBM "Bulava could be brought into service, according to one senior representative of the Chief of Staff of the Russian Navy, as early as "mid 2011".
The Bulava is Russians most advance nuclear missile design, to replace the Topel M missiles. The Bulava incorporates important design changes that enables it travel farther, faster. It is also more sophisticated. The Bulava can carry up to 12 hypersonic warheads with yields anywhere from 100 -150 kT each (150 times the destructive power of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan), independently guided, maneuverable warheads with yields of 100-150 KT each.
Among its capabilities are "evasive maneuvering, and course countermeasures and decoys. In addition the warheads are fully shielded against both physical and electromagnetic pulse damage. In fact the Bulava is designed in such a way as to be capable of surviving a nuclear blast at a minimum distance of 500 meters.
Many experts assumed that the Bulvava missile would not go online until around 2040. Project "Northwind" effectively "fast tracked" the development of the missile development and testing by 29 years ahead of schedule. The Bulvava will be an operational component of the Russian military in mid 2010, and a powerful ne weapon for the Russian navy.
This is a significant military developmental upgrade - one that poses a serious threat to the United States, which at any one time has over 1000 nuclear weapons aimed at it's major cities and military installations around the world by the Russian Military. The Russians considers the US the number one threat to their federation in the world today.
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