On September 27, 2016 the Yuri Dolgorukiy submarine of the Project 955 Borey class conducted a salvo launch of two Bulava missiles. The missiles were launched from a submerged submarine deployed in the White Sea. According to the official statement, the launch was fully successful. Warheads of the first missile reached their targets on the Kura test site. The second missile self destroyed "after completing the first phase of the flight".

The ministry of defense called the launch "experimental," but the nature of the experiment is not clear. One report quotes former chief of the Navy Main Staff as saying that the launch was supposed to check the readiness of the strategic fleet, so maybe the experiment checked the command and control procedures. But it's just a guess.

The destruction of the missile shortly after launch is unlikely to be the experiment in question. This appears to be a normal practice in salvo launches - at the very least it saves money, since the missile probably carries mockups instead of working upper stages and warehads. Indeed, this is probably what happened in the previous salvo launch, in November 2015 -- there were reports about destruction of one missile. These reports were probably right, but it was wrong to conclude (as I did) that it was a failure.

This launch has its own history. The previous one, in November 2015, conducted by Vladimir Monomakh, was reported to be not entirely successful. There were reports that suggested that the missile that flew to Kura was damaged as it was leaving the launch tube and as a result its warheads missed the targets (we may note that reports about today's launch emphasized that "both missiles left their tubes and followed the assigned trajectories"). Then, there was a report that Vladimir Monomakh will make another attempt in June 2016, before leaving to the Pacific. However, it has left without a launch.