MOSCOW, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Trials of two new Russian nuclear submarines have been suspended after a submarine-launched ballistic missile malfunctioned, a defense official said Saturday.
A spokesman for the Defense Ministry said a Bulava missile fired from the Alexander Nevsky submarine toward a test site in eastern Russia Friday failed in the second minute of the test, RIA Novosti reported.
The failure caused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to halt further trials of the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh. Five other launches of the missiles also were put on hold, the spokesman said.
The cause of the failure will be investigated by a commission led by Adm. Viktor Chirkov, commander of the Russian navy.
The Alexander Nevsky was scheduled to be put into operation Nov. 15, contingent on a successful launch of its ballistic missiles.
Officially, eight of the 19 or 20 test launches of the Bulava missiles have been declared unsuccessful.