The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation was forced to order an additional four Meridian communication satellites due to the fact that the Sphere-B perspective devices, which were planned for replacement, proved to be too heavy for existing carrier rockets.
“The problems with import substitution, especially with regard to electronic component bases, has resulted in an increase to the actual mass of the Sphere-B devices. This means that the Proton-M and the Angara-A5 Russian carrier rockets are unable to deliver this type of satellite with the new Russian kitting to the highly elliptical orbit,” a representative of the agency explained.
The representative also commented on media reports regarding the fact that the Ministry of Defense has to apply for an additional 14 billion rubles for the purchase of the four Meridian satellites in order to maintain the orbital groups of this system. There are currently four satellites in its structure.