On September 6, 2013 Aleksandr Nevskiy submarine of the Project 955 class conducted a launch of a Bulava SLBM. The missile successfully left the launch tube, but failed on the second minute of the flight "due to a malfunction in its onboard system," according to a representative of the ministry of defense. The submarine was deployed in the White Sea and the missile was expected to reach the Kura test site in Kamchatka.

The launch was part of the acceptance trials of Aleksandr Nevskiy and the first launch of Bulava from that submarine. The test was the first of the two that Aleksandr Nevskiy was expected to conduct before being accepted for service on 15 November 2013. However, further tests of Bulava and the Aleksandr Nevskiy and Vladimir Monomakh trials have been now suspended and the minister of defense ordered five more "practical tests" of the missile. In any event, the submarine were not expected to receive missiles for some time. The lead submarine of the Project 955, Yuri Dolgorukiy, which is about to join the Northern Fleet, was not expected to have missiles on board until at least January 2014.

It is unclear how this failure will affect the Project 955 submarine deployment plans. It appears to be a serious setback for the Bulava program, though. It is the 20th test of Bulava and the first failure of the missile after a series of seven successful launches, which followed a string of failures and partial successes.

Previous Bulava test was a salvo launch of two missiles from Yuri Dolgorukiy submarine in December 2011.

UPDATE 09/09/2013: According to Kommersant, the launch took place at 9:20 MSK (05:20 UTC). Since the goal of the launch was to test the submarine, rather than the missile, the latter did not carry telemetry equipment. The missile was one of the first serially produced missiles. It was reported earlier that the launch would involve a test of the command and control system and indeed the launch order was transmitted to the submarine from the Command Center of the General Staff.