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The Russian Space Forces (Russian: Космические войска России) is the branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation responsible for military space operations. Established on August 10, 1992, following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Russian Armed Forces,[1] the organization shares control of the Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Russian Federal Space Agency. It also operates the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and the Svobodn’y Cosmodrome.

Contents

History

The Space Forces were established as the Ministry of Defense Space Units in 1982. In 1991 the Soviet Union was broken up. The Russian Armed Forces were established on 7 May 1992, enabling the creation of Russian Space Forces later that year on 10 August. In July 1997 the Space Force was dissolved as a separate service arm and incorporated to the Strategic Rocket Forces along with the Space Missile Defense Forces, which previously were part of the Troops of Air Defense. In the view of some experts, this was a mistake that prevented the Russian military from developing space-based capabilities. Russian Public TV said of the merger:

However, slightly over three years ago, it appeared to some-one, that, with a view to saving funds, it would be more sensible to strip the Military Space Forces of their independence and subordinate them to the Strategic Missile Troops -which has been done. In just the same way the country's air defence forces were made subordinate to the air force. Under the slogan of "optimizing", but, essentially, reducing the officer corps of the armed forces, the Military Space Forces were simply merged with the Strategic Missile Troops. In this way the missilemen command remained in their places virtually in full and almost the entire elite of military engineers were dispersed from the space forces. The military base, too, was destroyed. In the building of the Military Space Forces headquarters on Kaluga Square [Kaluzhskaya ploshchad], the very expensive fibre optic cable necessary for communicating with space facilities was ripped out. Afterwards, this decision was deemed to have been erroneous.[2]

The Russian Space Forces were officially reborn on June 1, 2001 as an independent section of the Russian military. They regained independence under one of the many military reorganisation plans of the mid-late 1990s. Colonel General Anatoly Perminov was appointed to lead the new Space Forces.[3]

Organization

The main tasks of the Russian Space Forces are informing the higher political leaders and military commanders of missile attacks as soon as possible, ballistic missile defense, and the creation, deployment, maintenance and control of in-orbit space vehicles, like the new Persona reconnaissance satellite. For example, the Space Forces operate the GLONASS global positioning system; commander of the Space Forces Colonel General Vladimir Popovkin said in January 2006 that 18 GLONASS satellites would be in orbit by 2008 (the system is currently not fully operative).[4]

Russian Space Forces minor emblem

Formations of the Space Forces include the 3rd Missile-Space Defence Army, and a Division of Warning of Missile Attack, both with their headquarters at Solnechnogorsk near Moscow. Installations include the Qabala Radar in Azerbaijan, along with a number of other large warning radars, and the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system which protects Moscow.

There is also an optical tracking facility, the Okno (Window) complex,[5] near the town of Nurek in central Tajikistan,38°16′52″N 69°13′30″E / 38.281°N 69.225°E / 38.281; 69.225 that is intended to monitor objects in space. The Okno is capable of tracking objects 40,000 kilometers (24,800 miles) from Earth, the space forces said in a statement carried by the Interfax-Military News Agency when it was put on duty in 2002.[6] The facility involves telescope-like equipment housed in several large spheres, similar to the U.S. GEODSS system.

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3rd Missile-Space Defence Army

1st Division of Warning of Missile Attack- HQ: Solnechnogorsk[7]
East Headquarters- Komsomolsk-na-Amure
West Headquarters – Kurilovo(Serpuhov-15)
Radar Site (ORTU) RО-1 Olenegorsk- Radar Dnepr(Hen House)
Radar Site RО-5 Beregovo, Ukraine - Radar Dnepr/Daugava (Hen House, under Ukrainian control, all Ukrainian personnel)[8]
Radar Site RО-4 Nikolaev, Sevastopol area, Ukraine - Radar Dnepr(Hen House, under Ukrainian control, all Ukrainian personnel)
Radar Site ОS-2 Balhash, Kazakhstan- Radar Dnepr (Hen House)
Radar Site ОS-1 Mishelevka, Irkutsk Oblast- Radar Dnepr (Hen House)
Radar Site RО-30 Pechora- Radar Daryal (Pechora)
Radar Site RО-7 Gabala, Azerbaijan - Radar Daryal(Pechora)
Radar Site Gantcevichi, Belarus- Radar Volga
Radar Site Komsomolsk-na-Amure - Radar Duga-2 (Steel Yard)
Radar Site Sofrino, in common with PRO- Radar Don-2 (Pill Box)
9th Division of Defence Against Missiles (HQ: Sofrino)[9]
Missile Site- Novopetrovska- 51Т6
Missile Site - Klin- 51Т6
Missile Site - Shodna- 53Т6
Missile Site - Turakovo(Aleksandrov)- 51Т6
Missile Site - Korolev- 53Т6
Missile Site - Litkarino- 53Т6
Missile Site - Vnukovo- 53Т6
Missile Site - Kolodkino- 51Т6
Radar Site Sofrino - Radar Don-2 (Pill Box)
Radar Site Stremilovo (Chehov-7)- Radar Dunay (Cat House)
Radar Site Kubinka – Radar Dunay-M (Dog House)
45th Division of Space Control- HQ: Noginsk area
Optical Electronic Complex Okno (Window) -Object 7680- Nurek, Tadjikistan (see de:Okno)
Laser Radar Krona ОРТУ- Zelenchukska, Cherkessk Area
Also are used Radar Site Sofrino, Balhash, Mishelevka

References

  1. ^ VKS, Federation of American Scientists
  2. ^ Russian Public TV (ORT), Moscow, in Russian 1700 gmt 28 March 2001, via BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
  3. ^ ITAR-Tass news agency, via http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRNews1/FRNews01/FR010603.htm
  4. ^ GPS News GLONASS to have 18 satellites in orbit in 2008, January 2006
  5. ^ http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/track/okno.pdf Sourcebook on the Okno and Krona Space Surveillance Systems
  6. ^ SPACE.com - Russian Space Forces Inaugurate New Space-Tracking Facility
  7. ^ Kommersant-Vlast, 14 May 2002, www.brinkster.net
  8. ^ See Spacemart.com, Kiev Radar Row Set to Inflame Tensions Part One (UPI), February 5, 2008
  9. ^ Russian: дивизия противоракетной обороны, literally division of against-rocket defence.

See also

External links


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