Russia puts into orbit classified military satellite

Contact Counsellor

Russia puts into orbit classified military satellite

  • Russia successfully placed into orbit a military satellite believed to be part of the Kremlin’s early warning anti-missile system.
  • The satellite is believed to be a Tundra Satellite, part of Russia's early warning anti-missile system named Kupol or dome.
  • Russia has previously launched Tundra satellites in 2015, 2017 and 2019, according to Interfax.

Tundra orbit

  • It is a highly elliptical geosynchronous orbit with a high inclination (approximately 63.4°), an orbital period of one sidereal day, and a typical eccentricity between 0.2 and 0.3.
  • A satellite placed in this orbit spends most of its time over a chosen area of the Earth, a phenomenon known as apogee dwell, which makes them particularly well suited for communications satellites serving high latitude regions.
  • The ground track of a satellite in a Tundra orbit is a closed figure 8 with a smaller loop over either the northern or southern hemisphere.
  • This differentiates them from Molniya orbits designed to service high-latitude regions, which have the same inclination but half the period and do not loiter over a single region.

Tundra Satellite System

  • Between 2015 and 2020, Russia established the Tundra satellite system, which is a constellation of Missile Early Warning Satellites.
  • It is equipped with a secure emergency communication payload that will be used in the event of a nuclear war.
  • It is a group of satellites that will replace the Oko-1 system's early-warning satellites as the next generation of Russian early-warning satellites.
  • The final Oko (Eye) satellite (missile defense early warning programme) is said to have stopped functioning in mid-2014, leaving Russia to rely on ground-based missile detection systems.
  • They'll be part of the EKS, or Unified Space System (USS—also known as Kupol or dome), which will contain numerous geostationary orbit satellites.
  • Kupol, which was unveiled in 2019, is supposed to detect ballistic missile launches and track them to their target, however, their exact configuration is unknown.

Anti-Missile Defence Systems With India

  • India’s ballistic missile defence (BMD) program, which began development two decades ago, is reported to be ready for deployment in a configuration for India’s national capital territory, with future phases to fine-tune and expand capabilities.
  • At present, the BMD system includes the endo-atmospheric Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor and the exo-atmospheric Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) systems.

Prithvi Air Defence and Advance Air Defence:


  • It is a double-tiered system consisting of two land and sea-based interceptor missiles, namely the Prithvi Air Defence (PAD) missile for high altitude interception, and the Advanced Air Defence (AAD) Missile for lower altitude interception.


  • It is able to intercept any incoming missile launched 5,000 kilometres away. The system also includes an overlapping network of early warning and tracking radars, as well as command and control posts.

Ashwin Advanced Air Defence Interceptor Missile:


  • It is also an indigenously produced Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It is the advanced version of the low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor missile.
  • The missile also has its own mobile launcher, secure data link for interception, independent tracking and homing capabilities and sophisticated radars.


  • It uses an endo-spheric (within the Earth’s atmosphere) interceptor that knocks out ballistic missiles at a maximum altitude of 60,000 to 100,000 feet, and across a range between 90 and 125 miles.