Navy spokesman Captain Igor Dygalo said on Wednesday the missile launched from the Karelia submarine of the Northern Fleet in the Barents Sea was "destroyed by its self-liquidation system after deviating from its set trajectory."
Dygalo said the launch itself was conducted faultlessly, but the missile started veering off its flight path, 98 seconds after the launch - a deviation that triggered its self-liquidation system.
No one was hurt, he told reporters.
An official investigation into the possible causes of the incident has been launched, Dygalo said. He refused to say whether the incident might have been caused by a malfunction in the Soviet-era missile after a long storage.
Dygalo said the missile was launched at a practice target on a testing range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East. He did not identify the missile.
According to the Russian media reports, the Karelia carries 16 RSM-54 missiles, each equipped with four independently-targeted warheads.
The failed launch followed an incident on Tuesday in which a scheduled missile launch from the Northern Fleet's Novomoskovsk submarine was called off amid contradictory official statements.
Both launches were part of massive manoeuvres of Russian nuclear forces being overseen by President Vladimir Putin. The two successive failures tarnished his efforts to revive Russia's military might and global clout.
In 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk sank off the
Arctic coast during military exercises, killing 118 sailors and
officers on board.