|Place of origin||Russia|
|Used by||Russian Navy|
|Manufacturer||ZMZ / KMZ|
|Engine||three-stage liquid propellant|
|11,547 kilometres (7,175 mi)|
The R-29RMU Sineva (Russian: Синева, lit. "blueness"), also designated RSM-54, is a Russian liquid-fueled submarine-launched ballistic missile. It has the GRAU index 3M27, and is identified by NATO as the SS-N-23 Skiff. It can carry four supersonic warheads and is designed to be launched from Delta IV class submarines, which are armed with 16 missiles each.
The first full-range test was reportedly conducted on October 11, 2008; the reported range was 11,547 kilometers. The R-29RMU entered service in 2007 and is expected to remain in service until at least 2030.
Current plans see the construction of approximately 100 such missiles.
At its height in 1984, the Soviet Navy, conducted over 100 SSBN patrols. The decline of the Russian navy during the 1990s weakened Russia's navy greatly, with no SSBN patrols carried out in 2001-2002. The development of the Sineva is part of a program tasked with "preventing the weakening of Russia's nuclear deterrent."
The R-29RMU Sineva is seen as a rival to the solid propellant Bulava SLBM. Originally, the Russian Navy was slated to receive the Sineva missile in 2002, but the first test was conducted only in 2004. The missile was eventually commissioned in 2007.
Initial launch failures
Failed Sineva test launches took place during the strategic command exercise “Security-2004” (held 10–18 February 2004), which also included the launch of a Molniya communication satellite and an R-36 missile. The launch failures involving nuclear submarines Novomoskovsk and Karelia may have been caused by a military satellite blocking the launch signal; this incident did not lead to any serious consequences for the K-407 Novomoskovsk strategic nuclear submarine. March 1, 2004 saw then Russian president Vladimir Putin instructing the acting defence minister to carry out an investigation in order to determine the reason of the launch failures of the three RSM-54 missiles in mid-February.
March 17, 2004 saw Novomoskovsk nuclear submarine of the Russian Northern Fleet perform a successful launch of the RSM-54 Sineva. The missile’s two warheads reportedly hit their targets. President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov observed a successful test launch of the Sineva missile from the SSBN Yekaterinburg.
Further successful launches were conducted by K-84 Yekaterinburg on September 8, 2006. The missile was launched from an ice-covered polar region toward the Chizha test site at the Kanin Peninsula. The three warheads were reported to have successfully reached their targets.
Another successful launch was performed on 4 March 2010 from the Barents Sea. This was followed by more launches on 6 August 2010, when a K-114 Tula fired two missiles towards the Kura Test Range. Two more launches were carried out on May 20, 2011 and July 27, 2011, both successful.
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