Sometimes news from Russian space industry are remaining in the opposition to itself; sometimes everything changes pretty fast that news given previously, after few days (or even hours) are totally outdated. Here is example: It is possible that Angara-A5 rocket will be launched in 2016 !
Russian news agency TASS, which recently announced about problems with keeping schedule of Angara-A5, stated on May 13, 2016, that these problems won’t stop Roscosmos and rocket will be launched for the third time in 2016. TASS is, as usual, quoting source close to Russian space program who would like to stay anonymous:
“The plans of the launch have been adjusted again. An instruction has been received to carry out the launch until the end of the year, in December at the latest,”
It seems that after works of state commission, which was established for discovering reasons of failed first attempt of launch from Vostochny cosmodrome, pressure from state authorities on Russian space institutions has increased. It should not be surprising if we consider that first scheduled date for second launch of Angara was end of 2015. One year delay is not something unusual especially in case of developing new rocket but still it was some kind of flaw on general image of Russian space industry and its organization; Roscosmos would like to avoid further delays for sure. TASS also unveiled that payload during second launch attempt performed from Plesetsk cosmodrome will be at least two military satellites from early warning system. TASS quotes same source:
“There are plans to orbit at least two, possibly three new-generation satellites for the space-based echelon of the missile attack early warning system. They exceed their predecessors’ technical capabilities by many times, including the term of their operation in orbit,”
It is ambitious goal if we consider that Angara-A5 will be launched with Briz-M or KVTK upper stages for the first time in its history. Previous launch on July 9, 2014, was on suborbital trajectory and upper module was not used (it was planned to use Briz-M but in 2011 Roscosmos resigned from reaching orbit with upper stage.
Russian first (if we consider Russia as former Soviet Union) early warning system was Oko (eye in English) which was started in 1972. This old system by NPO Lavochkin, was decided to be replaced by new EKS (Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Sistema meaning Unified Space System) by RKK Energia which probably started its development in the end of the nineties. System started its operational activity in 17 November 2015 when first EKS satellite was launched on atop of Soyuz-2.1b rocket from Plesetsk cosmodrome. Probably in the end of 2016 on atop of Angara-A5 we will see next two or three satellites which will be part of the EKS, which Russian military is planning to upgrade with four additional satellites up to 2020.
On picture above: this is what EKS will detect – MIRV warhead.