Russia's new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) Bulava could be fired from ground-based launchers after a slight modification, its designer Yury Solomonov said.
"This task is viable...although some parts - about 10 percent cost-wise - must be adopted for ground launches," Solomonov said in an interview with Russia's National Defense magazine to be published later in December.
The Bulava (SS-NX-30) three-stage liquid and solid propellant SLBM carries up to 10 MIRV warheads and has a range of over 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles).
The missile is both lighter and more sophisticated than the Topol-M land-based ICBM. It has a low flight trajectory and uses a liquid-propellant third stage to allow high maneuverability during warhead separation.
The Russian military expects the Bulava, along with Topol-M ICBM, to become the core of Russia's nuclear triad.
Despite previous failures, officially blamed on manufacturing faults, the Russian military has insisted that there is no alternative to Bulava and pledged to continue testing the missile until it is ready for service with the Navy.
In the last test in late October, a Bulava missile was successfully test-fired from the Dmitry Donskoi nuclear-powered submarine in the White Sea, hitting a target on a test range in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region some 6,000 kilometers to the east.
According to some defense sources, the next test launch of the Bulava SLBM has been scheduled for December 17.
The Russian Navy plans to deploy Bulava on modified Typhoon class and the new Borey class submarines.
MOSCOW, December 8 (RIA Novosti)