On 9 December 2020 Russia's strategic forces conducted an annual exercise, officially described as a "training of the control of the strategic offensive forces." The exercise, directed by the President of Russia, involved ICBM, SLBM, and ALCM launches.

A Yars ICBM was launched from a mobile launcher deployed at the Plesetsk test site toward the Kura range in Kamchatka. A Project 667BDRM/Delta IV submarine of the Northern Fleet launched its R-29RM ballistic missile from the Barents Sea.

Tu-160 and Tu-95MS strategic bombers conducted launches of air-launched cruise missiles at the Pemboy test range. The exercise involved bombers based in Engels and Ukrainka (almost certainly Tu-160 and Tu-95MS respectively). At least some of the cruise missiles were ALCMs of the Kh-101 type.

The original plan of the exercise apparently included a launch of an SLBM from one of the submarines of the Pacific Fleet. A corresponding NOTAM warning was released ahead of the exercise (source, h/t DS). The launch, however, did not take place. [UPDATE: The salvo launch of four Bulava missiles from the Vladimir Monomakh submarine was conducted on 12 December 2020]

NOTAM 2020-12-09.jpg

Last year's exercise did involve a launch of a R-29R SLBM from the Ryazan submarine of the Project 668BDR/Delta III class. It was, however, reported that the submarine launched only one of the two missiles prepared for the launch. It is also worth noting that Project 955 Borey submarines deployed in the Pacific never conducted test launches of their Bulava missiles from that region.

Normally, Russia holds these exercises in October - it was held on October 17th last year. The delay may have been caused by the pandemic, although no official statement to that effect was made.