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The new Russian liquid-fuel Liner missile is world’s most advanced submarine-based strategic weapon with range and payload capabilities surpassing every model deployed by any other country, its developer says.
The submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Liner can carry up to 12 low-yield MIRV nuclear warheads and has a payload/mass ratio surpassing any solid-fuel strategic missiles designed by the US, UK, France and China, the developer Makeyev State Rocket Center said in a statement. It is very flexible in terms of what its payload can be, varying and mixing warheads of different capabilities.
Russia is the only nation that uses liquid-fuel submarine-based nuclear missiles. All other nations deploying SLBMs opt for solid propellants, since they allow for the building of more reliable missiles, which are simpler and cheaper to operate.
Russia has a solid-fuel SLBM in development too. The Bulava missile, which is the designated armament for the advanced Borey-class submarines, has seen several delays and setbacks over the years, but now it is slated to enter service after a series of successful test fires in 2010-2011.
“Submarines armed with such missiles can operate from Russia’s safe territorial waters, where they are covered by the Russian Air Force and its surface Navy. They can also have electronic equipment, necessary to suppress the US antiballistic missile system, as part of their payload in addition to the warheads themselves,” he explained.
However the question is, is this a response to the US or is it more China?