Russia to create advanced space tracking system: Aerospace forces

ITAR-TASS 01: KRASNODAR REGION, RUSSIA. APRIL 8, 2009. An officer seen at a control center of the next generation Voronezh-DM radar station, a missile warning system. (Photo ITAR-TASS / Igor Zhuravlev). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MOSCOW, Oct 2, 2020, TASS. In the coming years, Russia will create an advanced military system of space tracking, allowing it to continuously monitor near-Earth objects, Commander of the Russian Aerospace Forces’ 15th Special Army Lieutenant-General Andrei Vyshinsky said in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, published on Friday, TASS reported.

“In the coming years, a network of special-purpose radio-technical control systems and new-generation electro-optical systems. Apart from the Altai Territory, such systems will be deployed in other Russian regions, such as the Far East, Buryatia [southeast Siberia] and in Crimea,” the general said.

He said that the new system would enable Russia’s space forces “to continuously monitor the near-Earth space in all directions and in a wide range of altitudes.”

Additional radars

The Russian Aerospace Forces are looking into the possibility of building additional radars for its missile attack early warning system, Vyshinsky said.

“In order to further develop the missile attack early warning system, we are working on the possibility of deploying highly prefabricated radar stations in other Russian regions. Those facilities will be included into the draft state procurement program for the period until 2030 and later,” he said.

Vyshinsky said that at present, the Russian early warning network against ballistic missile attack ensures a continuous radar field around Russia’s borders and monitors all areas of a potential missile attack in the round-the-clock mode, including with the help of Tundra satellites.

To date, Voronezh-type advanced missile warning radars have already entered combat duty in northwestern Russia’s Leningrad Region, the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the East Siberian region of Irkugtsk and the southern Ural region of Yekaterinburg. Besides, they have also been deployed in the regions of Krasnodar (southern Russia), Krasnoyarsk (east Siberia) and Altai (southwest Siberia).

Soviet-era missile warning radars of the Dnepr, Daryal and Volga family have been modernized. Apart from that, Russia is building Voronezh-type radars in northwestern Russian cities of Olenegorsk and Vorkuta. They are scheduled for completion in 2022.

“On top of that, a project to build a high-potential radar station near Sevastopol [Crimea] has been launched. According to the schedule, it will be put into operation and enter the combat duty in 2024,” Vyshinsky said.

Space segment of early warning system

This year, Russia will complete trials of the space segment of its missile attack early warning system, Commander of the Russian Aerospace Force’s 15th Special Army Lieutenant-General Andrei Vyshinsky said in an interview with the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, published on Friday.

“Another priority area in improving our missile attack early warning system is the development of its space segment, which is now undergoing flight trials. We plan to complete it this year. As I have already said, four newest spacecraft have been launched,” Vyshinsky said.

Russia is deploying the space-based component of its missile attack warning system in compliance with the approved schedule, the system’s chief designer, CEO of Vimpel Company Sergei Boyev, told TASS at the Army-2020 international military and technical forum in late August.

The Russian missile attack warning system is designed to warn about attacks on state and military command centers and provides data for Moscow’s anti-ballistic missile defense, as well as information on space objects for space control facilities.

The system has two tiers: the space component, currently consisting of four Tundra satellites, and the ground network of Voronezh radars that keep under control all directions from which a potential missile attack may originate. The main task of the system is to promptly identify and track ballistic missiles that may be launched against Russia or its allies.

The fourth Tundra satellite was orbited on May 22. In June, a defense industry source told TASS that with the launch of a fourth Tundra satellite, Russia created a basic space segment of a missile attack warning system that allowed for monitoring the US territory for possible launches of ballistic missiles. The Tundra satellites, equipped with new generation infrared monitoring instruments, allow for accurately identifying missile launches from the Earth’s surface, tracking the missiles in flight and automatically forecasting the areas where the warheads might fall.

Another defense source earlier told TASS that the Kupol cluster would have a total of nine satellites. Kupol is to replace the previous generation space systems Oko and Oko-1.

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