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Russia launches military satellite

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia on Friday launched a military satellite, the Defense Ministry said.

Spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin said a Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the satellite lifted off at 7:00 p.m. Moscow time (15:00 GMT) from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.

He added that it was the first military satellite launch so far this year.

Russia reportedly operates a constellation of 60-70 military satellites with reconnaissance, missile early warning and other capabilities.

Military officials earlier said Russia would be using new-generation Angara-class carrier rockets for launches from Plesetsk to reduce Moscow's dependence on Baikonur, the main launch facility rented in Kazakhstan, for the current generation of Russian rockets.

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