In 2022, Russia plans to begin the deployment of a next-generation satellite communications system in space, which will allow global control of the planet's surface, stated in an interview with the newspaper Red Star Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air and Space Forces Colonel-General Sergey Surovikin.
According to Surovikin, the program will be carried out as part of the creation of the Unified Space System. The deployment of an orbiting space reconnaissance system will begin in 2023 following the launch of phase three communication satellites.
The entire orbital grouping of new satellites will be launched into low-Earth orbit by 2024.
"This September, we plan to complete the tests of a space communication system with the Blagovest spacecraft in geostationary orbit," Surovikin said.
The general also noted that a new Command and Measurement System "Topaz" is being created for the Russian Aerospace Forces, which will allow to control satellites in all types of orbits.
The head of the Russian Air and Space Forces added that the work to improve the control of outer space, which is underway in Russia now, will allow in the future not only to track the launches of missiles, but also to control small spacecraft of foreign states.
Russia is now using meridian dual-use vehicles to monitor outer space. They were created in the 1980s as part of the Second Stage Unified Satellite Communications System. Meridian satellites have dual purpose. They perform both military and civilian tasks: provide communication to ships and aircraft, expand the communications network in the north of the country.
In 2020, Russia launched two military satellites. In February, the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket was used to launched the Meridian-M spacecraft from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. In May, another defense satellite was launched from the Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region.