MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. The launch of the third Blagovest military communications satellite is planned for December 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a source in the domestic space industry told TASS on Thursday.
"The launch of the Blagovest satellite is planned for December 21 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Proton-M carrier rocket," the source said.
A final decision on the date and on the launch will be made by the state commission, the source said.
A source in the space industry earlier told TASS that the Blagovest might be launched in the third ten-day period of December but declined to specify the date.
Head of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Nikolai Testoyedov earlier told TASS that the company would manufacture two Blagovest military satellites at the end of this year and at the beginning of 2019, correspondingly.
According to him, both satellites are expected to be launched by a Proton-M booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch of the fourth Blagovest satellite is planned for the first quarter of 2019, if the state commission makes the corresponding decision.
The first Blagovest military satellite, the Kosmos-2520, was launched from the Baikonur spaceport on August 17, 2017. The second satellite of this series, the Kosmos-2526, was launched on April 19, 2018 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Initially, its liftoff was planned for December 25, 2017 but was rescheduled due to problems with an onboard device.
Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to deploy a grouping of four Blagovest satellites by 2020. These satellites are designed to provide high-speed access to the Internet, transmit data and offer telephone and video conference communications using the advanced Ka-and Ku-band frequencies.