Russia Test Fires Multiple Sub-Launched Nuke Missiles From Pacific To Finland’s Coast

U.S. Pacific Fleet via Flickr

In what appears to be a warning to Finland and its neutral neighbor Sweden to not get too cozy with NATO, Russia test-fired four ballistic missiles in rapid succession from a submarine in the Pacific to a target site in the ocean near Finland. The submarine Vladimir Monomakh, part of the Russian Pacific Fleet, fired the SS-N-23 Bulava (“Mace”) nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles on December 12.

The missile test follows less than a week after a Swedish parliamentary majority followed Finland’s example, in voting in favor of adopting a “NATO Option.” The “NATO option, notes Reuters,” would not mean Sweden would apply for membership of the U.S.-led alliance but Sweden would consider it down the road if deemed necessary for security.

Still, the ruling Swedish minority ruling coalition composed of the Social Democrats and Greens remains opposed to any NATO option. Nevertheless, Russia is not happy with Finland and Sweden’s deepening defense ties with each other, and both their evolving links to NATO. And reminding both of them of Russia’s nuclear missile capability is one way to show that displeasure.

Enter the Bulava multiple missile launch.

The missiles traveled 3,100 miles from the Sea of Okhotsk to the Chizha test range, on the Kanin peninsula near the Barents Sea.

As Kyle Mikozami noted, “the missiles streaked along almost the entire length of Russia, from a location north of Japan all the way to a site near Finland. It was the first multi-missile test of the Bulava system since 2018.” The Bulava missile, explains Mikozami roughly equivalent to the American Trident D-5 submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missiles had a troubled early development history, but all missile tests since 2018 have been successful.

The relatively new Monomakh is equipped with 16 launch tubes with 16 Bulava ballistic missiles. Each Bulava carries between four and six nuclear warheads in the 100- to 150-kiloton range, for a total of between 64 and 96 warheads.

But Finland and Sweden aren’t the only targets of the Russian test missile messaging. As Popular Mechanics notes, “Bulava missiles fired from the Sea of Okhotsk can reach most of the United States west of the Mississippi, while missiles fired from the White Sea can reach U.S. territory east of the Mississippi.”

Paul Crespo

Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Richard Hennessy
Richard Hennessy
7 months ago

With fraudulent weak Biden in the White House, Russia’s neighbors will be in real trouble. If NATO nations continue to pay their obligations as required by President Trump, perhaps the situation won’t be as bad as expected.

7 months ago

The reason Russia is doing this now is because they know Trump is no longer going to be in charge…this is just the beginning of the end of America…wait and see…

Salvatore Tuccio
Salvatore Tuccio
7 months ago

If biden + harris take office [which I pray they do not] will cede the battle field to Russia. Not only that issue but judges appointed by biden or harris who truly hate us.

Floyd Hardee
7 months ago

I heard recently that a Chinese Nuclear Sub was found in our waters just off the coast. Was this fake news, or has it been buried to keep us in the dark?

Grampa Mullan
Grampa Mullan
6 months ago

The world has depended upon the generosity and power of our country to defend their nations for too long. while we spend our dollars they benefit from it by using capital that should go to defense to research and advance their economy. With this advantage they have become wealthy on our dime. yet somehow we are the bad guy as we demand they pay their fair share of the defense bill somehow it is the fault of America for the conflict and it is we that must spend our human wealth to defend and protect. Again they cry as we withdraw to let them all stand upon their own feet. we spend billions to rebuild their nations and provide weapons so they may protect themselves. the result is often that they join the people they were to defend against using our own weapons against us. This president is the only one that haven’t started a war. one that has no reason other than to make many politicians rich from companies they have invested in. many providing positions for family members with no talent or expertise within the field they hold a management in. now we see why so many politicians are against Trump. we had the opportunity to have a prosperous nation. we were well on our way. so why were so many willing to destroy it? it wasn’t the virus that was the crisis. America is done and well on our way to a totalitarian state. I do hope you enjoy your new slavery. the threats wont be from the boats patrolling our waters but the politician who thinks they can rule. GBA ——-Grampa

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