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Space

Russia’s Aerospace Defense Forces to go on duty on Thursday

RIA Novosti

00:52 01/12/2011 MOSCOW, December 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s newly created Aerospace Defense Forces (VKO) will officially go on duty on Thursday, VKO spokesman Alexei Zolotukhin said.

“At 10:00 am Moscow time (06:00 GMT) on December 1, the first shift of the Aerospace Defense Forces command will go on duty,” Zolotukhin told journalists in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed the creation of the VKO, an analog of the European missile defense system, to replace the Russian Space Forces, in 2010. The VKO brings together the air defense and missile defense systems, as well as the early missile warning and space control systems, under a unified command.

“The VKO system is capable of destroying enemy ballistic missiles attacking important state objects, observe space objects, detect threats to Russia from space, and respond to such threats if needed, as well as launch spacecraft and fulfill other tasks,” Zolotukhin said.

More than 3,000 military and civil personnel will be joining VKO units on a daily basis, he added.



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