About the new project of space technology for the military department reported the publication Kommersant. Information on the development of a new satellite was obtained from two unnamed sources in the defense industry and one at the Ministry of Defense. In addition, some information about a promising project, primarily the fact of its existence, was mentioned in the documentation of the developer organization. Also mentioned are some supporting work within the project.
According to Kommersant, currently the Aerospace Forces and the Progress Rocket and Space Center (Samara) are working together on a new project of a prospective reconnaissance satellite. The spacecraft of the new type received the designation 14F156 and the cipher "Distributed." Currently, the customer and the developer are engaged in consultations, during which the main features of the appearance of the new technology are determined. In the future, the design of the device should begin.
Scouting satellite 14Ф37. Figure Russianspaceweb.com
It is mentioned that in the middle of last year RCC Progress ordered a study on the available element base. The aim of this work was to study the 14F156 project with the definition of a list of electronic components used in it, taken out of production or manufactured by foreign manufacturers. In addition, it was necessary to determine the range of products that are under export restrictions and cannot be purchased for use in the Russian project.
Also recently, RCC Progress has updated officially published data on plans for the purchase of various products and goods. The new procurement plan features the product 14Ф156, however, details of such a project have not yet been disclosed. In general, at the moment, the vast majority of data on the 14F156 “Razdan” spacecraft remains secret and is not subject to disclosure. At the same time, domestic media managed to get some information from their sources.
Prospective spacecraft will be used in the reconnaissance grouping. Hrazdan products will become new members of the optical-electronic reconnaissance satellite family. Such equipment is proposed to be used to monitor different areas of the earth's surface in order to obtain the necessary data. The resulting information can be used to monitor the actions of a potential enemy, and in the preparation of military operations.
The source of Kommersant claims that the promising satellite Hrazdan, according to its characteristics, will be “head and shoulders above” the existing technology of a similar purpose. From its predecessors it will be distinguished by a completely new special equipment, as well as communication equipment, providing data transmission over a protected high-speed channel. Also revealed some details about the target equipment of satellites. So, starting from the third device of the series, the 14F156 products will be equipped with a new telescope with a diameter of about 2 m. The development of such optical equipment was ordered to the Krasnogorsk plant to them. Zverev. The use of a new large telescope should provide a significant increase in the basic characteristics of the apparatus.
According to the available data, at present, the tasks of optoelectronic reconnaissance are assigned to the spacecraft of the 14F37 “Persona” family. This technique was developed at the beginning of the last decade, and its operation began in the 2008 year. The first “Persona” type satellite was lost due to technical reasons several months after commissioning. In 2013 and 2015, two other devices of the same project were put into orbit. They still remain in operation and are used by the Ministry of Defense for conducting reconnaissance. There is reason to believe that this technique, among other things, is used during the current operation in Syria.
The Kommersant publication claims that in the course of recent events and operations, the Russian military faced a shortage of reconnaissance spacecraft. Due to the need to obtain the required data and due to the absence of a large reconnaissance group, the military department had to involve civilian equipment in data mining. Both own and "leased" satellites allow the Ministry of Defense to collect all the necessary data.
The development of the 14F156 “Hrazdan” project is aimed primarily at strengthening the satellite constellation with the help of new intelligence equipment. With the help of new satellites, it will be possible to increase the potential of the entire intelligence system, as well as to a certain extent, simplify the acquisition of the required data. The approximate dates for the deployment of a group of new spacecraft have already been determined.
According to existing plans announced by Kommersant sources, the first satellite of the new type will be sent into orbit in 2019 year. The launch vehicle will have to start from the Plesetsk cosmodrome. The second unit will begin work in 2022 year, the third - in another two years. Judging by the published information, after 2024, new satellite launches will continue. In addition, reconnaissance vehicles with new and improved optical systems will be launched into orbit from 24. Thus, by the middle of the next decade, the existing small grouping of 14F37 “Persona” satellites will be supplemented with more advanced technology, and after “Razdany” they will be able to completely replace current products.
Kommersant writes that the Ministry of Defense already has certain plans in case of a negative development of events. If, for one reason or another, the development of a group of reconnaissance satellites will be difficult, the military will have to take appropriate measures. In the event that existing Persons cannot fully perform their tasks or there is a delay in the launch of 14F156 products, the military will again engage civilian remote sensing devices in reconnaissance. Thus, problems with military satellites will not have serious or fatal consequences for space reconnaissance.
According to the latest data, by the end of the current decade, the Aerospace Forces of Russia will have to use for exploration the existing mini-grouping of Persona vehicles, which, if necessary, will be complemented by civilian satellites. In 2019, the launch of the first Hrazdan type satellite will take place, which will increase the capabilities of reconnaissance. Recent reports from the national press indicate that current plans for the development of a reconnaissance mission spacecraft are scheduled until about the middle of the next decade. Any information about further work in this direction, for objective reasons, has not yet been published.
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