MOSCOW, December 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s aerospace defence went on duty on Thursday. The new type of troops has united space command, missile defense and the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region.
The space Command includes space control systems, as well as a system of missile warning.
According to the commander of the aerospace defence Forces Lieutenant-General Oleg Ostapenko, the use of these troops "will improve significantly efficiency of information as well as percussion tools which can fight an air-space enemy." The troops have concentrated "all opportunities in the aerospace field in order to ensure maximum performance tasks in this direction," he said.
The air-space troops should be the first line of defence against strategic military threats, which are increasing dur to the Pentagon's plans to deploy a missile defense system near the Russian border. Introduction of new radar stations is one of the means to strengthen these forces and the entire missile defense system, the Defense Ministry said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday ordered to commission the Voronezh-DM-class Kaliningrad radar as part of the missile warning system.
Medvedev, who arrived at the military unit where the radar is located, proceeded to the command quarters. Commander of the aerospace defense (VKO) troops Leutenant-General Oleg Ostapenko reported to the head of state about the radar's readiness to go on line, and Medvedev issued the order to add the facility to the VKO assets.
Congratulating the radar personnel on starting combat duty, the president said, "Hopefully, the radar will function well and will be able to perform all the tasks set." He wished the servicemen success.
Medvedev said he would chair a conference later in the day with the leadership of the armed forces within the framework of the instructions he had issued last week in connection with the situation involving U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe.
The Kaliningrad radar went on line ahead of schedule after the Russian president's statement.
Radars of this class are Russian factory-assembled over-the-horizon, long-range warning facilities. They feature a short deployment time at new location and a smaller crew compared with radars of previous generations, as well as redeployment opportunities in case of necessity.
In addition, Voronezh-DM functions in decimal waveband, which provides for higher accuracy. Its energy consumption is lower by 40 percent, and it utilizes less equipment than previous models. The range of Voronezh-dm reaches 6,000 kilometers.
At present, similar facilities are on experimental and combat duty in Armavir and the Leningrad region (village of Lekhtusi). In 2012, another Vornozeh-DM radar will be commissioned in the Irkutsk region.
The Kaliningrad radar was built to improve the missile warning system in Russia's northeastern air/space direction and covers the western sector, which was monitored by the stations in Mukachyovo and Baranovichi in Soviet times.
"It considerably expands the range of information tasks for subsequent decision-making by our country's top leadership," VKO troops commander Lt-Gen Oleg Ostapenko noted in this connection on November 25.
The Russian Defense Ministry plans to replace all Russian long-range radars with Voronezh-DM facilities and build several new ones. Using these radars, Russia will fully restore its monitoring of airspace in its territory and far beyond.