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New Russian missile fails again in testing: reports

Russia's new nuclear-capable Bulava missile has suffered a new failure in testing, Russian newspaper reports said on Thursday.

world Updated: Dec 10, 2009 15:36 IST

Russia's new nuclear-capable Bulava missile has suffered a new failure in testing, Russian newspaper reports said on Thursday.

It was the likely source of a mysterious light that appeared over Norway.

The submarine-launched Bulava missile was test-fired from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine in the White Sea early Wednesday. It failed at the third stage, the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers reported, quoting defence sources.

No further details on the circumstances of the launch were available.

The test was the 13th test-firing of the Bulava and the ninth time that the launch has failed, Vedomosti said.

The missile is central to Russia's plan to revamp its ageing weapons arsenal but is struggling with development problems.

However, the Russian defence ministry declined to comment on the failure or even confirm that the test launch of the intercontinental missile had taken place, the reports added.

Kommersant said the reported test-firing before dawn Wednesday morning coincided with the appearance of an extraordinary light over northern Norway that captivated observers.

Images of the white light that appeared in the sky above the Norwegian city of Tromso prompted explanations ranging from a meteor, northern lights, a failed missile or even a UFO.