Russia to launch three military satellites
Moscow: Russia will Tuesday launch three Cosmos series military-purpose satellites, the defence ministry said Monday.
A Rokot launch vehicle carrying the satellites will lift off from the Plesetsk Space Center in northern Russia.
"The Rokot carrier rocket has been installed on a launch pad. It will put three Cosmos military satellites into orbit," Aerospace Defense Forces spokesman Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.
The blast-off was initially scheduled for Dec 8, but was postponed due to malfunctions in the Briz-KM booster.
The light-class Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile.
It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM, in conjunction with an upper-stage block containing the Breeze-KM booster and space-bound payloads.
According to the defence ministry, 16 Rokot launches have been carried out from the Plesetsk site since the first launch May 16, 2000.
Rokot launches were suspended for about 18 months after it failed to put the Geo-IK-2 military satellite into the designated orbit in February 2011.
In the first launch of Rokot in more than a year, a rocket with a Cosmos-class military satellite and three civilian satellites on board blasted off in July 2012.