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Russia’s Satellite Nuclear Warning System Down Until November

PutinRussia's Aerospace Defense Forces will not have their new military nuclear warning satellite systems in place until months later than anticipated, the Moscow Times reported June 30.

Citing the TASS news agency, the Times reports that Russia has delayed the launch of its new military satellites by at least four months, leaving the country unable to detect a potential nuclear attack from space.

The first launch of the new satellites, referred to in the report as the "United Space System," is slated for November, according to the report in the Moscow Times story.

"Today we are nearly prepared to launch the first satellite into a highly elliptic orbit, the launch of which will take place in November 2015," Major General Oleg Maidanovich, commander of the Aerospace Defense Forces, said Tuesday, according to a TASS report cited in the Moscow Times.  Maidanovich did not explain why the launch was delayed, the Times added.

The Moscow Times also adds that Russia's Soviet-era early warning satellites were left nearly blind last year due to a technical malfunction,

The new system, which is closely integrated with ground-based early warning radars to provide an extensive picture of global missile launches, is expected to be fully operational in 2018, the Moscow Times reported.

-- Kris Osborn can be reached at Kris.Osborn@military.com

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