Russia restores missile umbrella

Russia restores missile umbrella

The Russian Space Troops will receive two sophisticated Voronezh-DM radars in December 2011, to be incorporated in the system of early warning of missile launches, Itar-Tass reported.

One of them will start operating in Armavir, and the other - in Kaliningrad, the Russian westernmost city. This radar will ensure Russian nuclear parity in case a Euro ABM is deployed, writes the Izvestia newspaper on Thursday. In 2012 a similar facility will be put into operation in the Irkutsk Region.

The task of the advanced radars will be to detect missiles, blasted off from other countries. Using these radar stations, Russia will fully restore control over air space around its borders.

"The commissioning of the Voronezh-DM radars is to restore integrity of radar control over air space. In some cases, we plug the present gaps, in others, we increase capacities of old stations," the newspaper learnt at the Space Troops.

In contrast to "Soviet predecessors" - the radars in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan - the new radars will be stationed in the Russian territory. Besides, they consume 40 percent less energy and can see what is going on in the skies and outer-space at a distance of 4,500 kilometres.

The first new-type radar Voronezh-DM was handed over for test operation in 2009 near St. Petersburg, in the village of Lekhtusi. It will be already combat-ready in December. Its operation set off the loss of a radar in Latvia. The Space Troops got the chance to see air space from the Morocco coast to Shpitsbergen as well as the US east coast.

The next year witnesses the commissioning of the second radar in Armavir, "inspecting" South Europe up to the North Africa coast. Its capacities closed the gap that formed as a result of Moscow's refusal to operate a station in Sevastopol.

"The construction of the radar in the Kaliningrad Region, in the village of Pionerskoye covers the western sector which was guarded by stations in Mukachevo and Belarussian Baranovichi. The second station under construction in Armavir will supplement capacities of the Gabalinskaya radar in Azerbaijan.

The next year will see the commissioning of a facility in the Irkutsk Region, which will "search" the space from China to the US western coast. Following this, "we can say that we fully restored the radar system of early warning of a missile attack," the Space Troops emphasised.

Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov who recently visited the Azerbaijan Gabalinskaya radar ("Daryal"), said that the military leadership does not intend to abandon the old Soviet stations, located in neighbour republics. "Everything remains as it is for the time being. We do not give up a single station and do not plan to," Serdyukov said.

According to Izvestia, Russia is not likely to stop with construction of the radar near Irkutsk. The Defence Ministry's plans provide for complete replacement, under the state programme of armaments till 2020, of all Soviet long-distance radars with the new Voronezh-DM and construction of several new ones.

It is planned to spend several billion roubles for their erection. The military say that the Arctic alone remains inaccessible.

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