In an interview to the VPK weekly, Yuri Solomonov, the chief designer of the Bulava missile (as well as Topol-M) defends the system, arguing that failures at the early stages of development are fairly common (which is, of course, true). He indicated that at least some of the problems were related to the lack of technological discipline and poor quality control during missile production. Other problems were attributed to the new technical decisions implemented in the missile.

Solomonov said he is optimistic about the ability of his design bureau to complete the work on Bulava in time. As I understand, that used to mean that the first submarine with the Bulava missile would be operational in 2008. I have my doubts about this, but it's not impossible. At least, the first Project 955 submarine is expected to begin sea trials in less than two weeks.