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Bulava chief designer explains latest delay — failure to dredge canal

January 29th, 2011

The December launch of the Bulava strategic rocket from the Yuri Dolgoruky submarine was delayed due to complicated weather conditions, Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology General Designer, Bulava developer Yuri Solomonov told Interfax-AVN.

“There was a certain combination of circumstances. The thickness of the ice was immaterial in contrast to the conditions under which the submarine was due to reach the launch zone. The state commission decided not to expose the Yuri Dolgoruky to the risk and delayed the launch until summer when the White Sea, the bay and the canal are free from the ice,” he said.

“The submarine leaves the bay through a very narrow canal, which is deepened every spring. The canal is not very deep, and the distance between the submarine keel and the canal bottom is only one meter. Under these improbable conditions, the submarine travels through the canal that is over 100 meters long,” Solomonov said.

“A icebreaker goes first, but the submarine also has to move the ice. The submarine weight and engine make this possible. However, when one ice block locks with another, the submarine could run aground,” he said.

Source: Interfax-AVN

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