Just a week ago, we reported that Russia had fired a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from the Barents Sea, while also flying 19 separate aircraft at NATO forces. Today, just a week later, Russia has fired off yet another SLBM from the same location, which borders on the increasingly strategic Arctic zone.
This time, a submerged, Northern Fleet based Russian ballistic nuclear submarine, most likely a Delta IV Class SSBN, test-fired a R-29RMU Sineva missile. The missile traveled over thousands of miles to Russia's Kura Range on the Kamchatka Peninsula, located in Russia's far east.
This was also where the October 29th launch of a solid-fueled RSM-56 Bolava SLBM by a new Borei Class SSBN ended up as well. You can see the October 29th launch from inside the modern Borei Class boat compared to footage of today's launch from inside an older Delta IV Class boat below:
Beyond questionable readiness and training objectives, this latest SLBM launch was most likely executed to make it clear to the West that Russia's older Delta IV SSBNs are still a capable deterrent, even though Russia's advanced Borei Class has taken the reigns as the Russian Navy's most capable ballistic missile submarines.
Also, both these tests, along with increasingly complex and uncooperative Russian military aircraft flights towards NATO borders, coincide nicely with Vladmir Putin's increasing warnings that he has a massive and capable stockpile of nuclear warheads.
All of this is as sad as much as it is terrifying. And after two ballistic missile launches in a row, a very peculiar occurrence, Russian bombers and interceptors showing up all over the globe and the soft threat of nuclear war, it is fairly scary to think of what Mr. Putin's next international attention grabbing 'gesture' will be.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com