There is some uncertainty about the outcome of the most recent attempt to test the Bulava sea-launched ballistic missile. What is certain is that the Dmitry Donskoy submarine of the Project 941 type left its base in Severodvinsk in the end of the last week, the test launch scheduled on Sunday. The test was to be conducted from a surfaced submarine. The submarine has returned to the port on Monday, but no official statement about the outcome of test has been issued so far.

According to the story in today's Kommersant, the test took place on December 24, 2006 and ended in failure. The lack of official statements also seems to indicate that the test did not go as planned (even if it was simply postponed due to the rough sea conditions). There are other reports, however, that appear to suggest that the test was successful.

A failure would be a major setback for the Bulava development program, for it would be a third failure of the missile in a row. Two previous tests - on 7 September 2006 and 25 October 2006 - were unsuccessful.