On 17-18 February 2004, Russian strategic forces took part in an exercise, which also involved troops of the Ural-Volga and Siberian military districts, as well as units of the Northern Fleet.
As part of the exercise, on February 17, 2004, the “Novomoskovsk” submarine of the Project 667BDRM (Delta IV) type deployed at Barents Sea attempted to launch a R-29RM (SS-N-23) missile from a submerged position. The launch attempt, performed about 10:12 MSK, was unsuccessful. According to press reports, the missile did not leave the silo. The submarine returned to the port.
At about 9:25 MSK on February 17, 2004, two Tu-95MS strategic bombers took off from the base in Engels. By 15:00 MSK the aircraft reached the Kola Peninsula region, where they successfully launched two Kh-55 cruise missiles. After that the aircraft returned to their base in Engels.
On February 18, 2004 the Russian strategic forces performed four launches of missiles and space launchers.
At about 10:06 MSK, the Space Forces successfully launched a Molniya-1T-type Cosmos-2405 communication satellite from the Plesetsk launch site (see the report)
At about 12:00 MSK on February 18, 2004, a UR-100NUTTH (SS-19) missile was launched from a silo at the launch pad 175/2 of the Baykonur launch site toward the Kura site in Kamchatka Peninsula. The launch was successful and the warhead reached its target.
At 12:30 MSK on February 18, 2004, another Project 667BDRM-class submarine of the Northern Fleet, “Karelia”, launched one of its R-29RM missiles from the Barents Sea. The launch itself was successful, but on the 98th second of the flight the self-destruct mechanism of the missile was activated.
The last missile launch of the day was the launch of a missile of the Topol (SS-25) missile system from Plesetsk toward the Kura site in Kamchatka. The launch was performed at 13:28 MSK from the mobile launcher at the Yubileynaya launch pad.
On February 19th the First Deputy Chief of Staff announced that during the exercise Russia tested a warhead of a new type. No further details were disclosed, but it appears that it was a maneuverable warhead tested during the UR-100NUTTH launch.