Once this is up Russia will have complete coverage and the ability to respond to a first strike before missiles are intercepted. One ponders if the world understands what and why this is happening, or even if it is understood that the neocons in America have a first strike doctrine. Their window to act is narrowing quickly.
God help us all if they are stupid enough to try.
|image: RIA Novosti / Oleg Urusov|
Proton-M carrier rocket with Kosmos military-purpose satellite transported to the launch pad - Baikonur space center
19 July 2014
After years of delay, Russia plans to deploy this year the first satellite of its new constellation replacing the space component of the early warning system, Russian media reported. It will also double as an emergency communication satellite.
The satellite was developed for the military, so naturally little is known about it. Identified by disambiguation ‘product 14F142’, it is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to Kommersant newspaper.
The spacecraft will be the first in a constellation, aimed to replace the old Oko-1 early warning system, which allows Russia survey countries possessing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and detect possible launches.
Oko-1 is currently in bad shape. To be fully operational, it needs four 73D6 satellites in placed in a highly elliptical orbit, dubbed ‘Molnya’ (lightning) orbit, to provide full-time coverage of the area of interest, and an additional backup satellite in a 71X6 geosynchronous orbit. Russia lost the last of the 71X6s in April this year and has not launched replacements for the 73D6s since 2008, with only two still operational.