14F149 Blagovest communications satellite
On August 17, 2017, the Proton-M booster rocket with the Breeze-M upper stage successfully launched into orbit the first "heavy" military communications satellite 14F149 for the Blagovest No. 11L, the open designation "Kosmos-2520") in the interests of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. Blagovest is a Russian religious term meaning "Evangelist" or a "person who brings good news". The blagovest is a type of peal in Russian Orthodox bell ringing. Its name means Annunciation or Good News, and is the call to prayer rung before the beginning of divine services, as well as during the services. Now, “blagovestnik” literally means “annunciator” or, better yet, “evangelist”, and is an ancient term for a deacon.
Satellites of this type, ordered under former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, were not only to increase the throughput of military communications channels, but also to provide commercial communications services. With Sergey Shoigu, the last idea was abandoned. Despite the successfully launched Blagovest, the system can not fully function until it has developed its ground segment.
A satellite of military purpose was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome with the aid of the Proton-M launch vehicle, the Russian Defense Ministry reported. Without naming a specific type of apparatus, the department specified that the withdrawal of the payload was in normal mode. "A stable telemetry connection is established and maintained with the space vehicle, the onboard systems of the spacecraft function normally." After taking over, the satellite was assigned the serial number "Kosmos-2520".
This was the first of the four telecommunication satellites Blagovest (product 14F149) into orbit. The Russian military satellite Blagovest is scheduled to be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in April 2018, General Director of the Information Satellite Systems company named after Academician MF Reshetnev Nikolay Testoyedov, the developer of the device, said on 07 February 2018. "The customer made a schedule of launches, we follow it.The satellite is ready to be sent from December to 2010. We are preparing to launch in April," Testoyedov said. According to him, the date of delivery of the device to the spaceport is still being specified, it must be approved by the state commission. Earlier, the launch of the Proton-M rocket with the second military communications satellite Blagovest was planned for December 25, then it was postponed to the middle of February 2018 due to problems with one of the instruments on the apparatus.
Russia’s Proton-M rocket made its first flight in six months 19 April 2018, successfully deploying a Blagovest military communications satellite. Launch occurred from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 04:12 local time (22:12 UTC), ahead of over nine hours of flight to deployment of its passenger. The launch carried the Blagovest No.12L satellite, the second spacecraft in a new series of communications satellites for Russia’s Ministry of Defence. After launch the satellite was renamed Kosmos 2526 under the designation scheme that Russia uses for its military spacecraft. Few details about the spacecraft have been made public.
The launch was the jubilee, 100th, for the Proton-M heavy-duty launch vehicle, which has been in use since 2001, and the 414th launch in the history of the Proton carrier rocket (all modifications since 1965). The Proton-M booster rocket and the Breeze-M upper stage are designed and mass-produced in the State Space Research and Production Center of the Khrunichev Space Research Center. M.V. Khrunichev (Khrunichev Center, part of Roskosmos State Corporation).
The Ministry of Defense plans to deploy a group of four "Blagovests" by 2020. The third and fourth devices will be ready for shipment to orbit in 2018. Satellites are designed to provide high-speed Internet access, data transmission, telephone and video conferencing using advanced Ka and Ku frequency bands.
They are developed by order of the military in the JSC "Information Satellite Systems named after Reshetnev" (ISS). The satellite is designed for high-speed data transmission, TV and radio programs, providing telephone and video conferencing, access to the global computer network. The device is built on the platform "Express-2000", its work in orbit should be at least 15 years. Initially it was planned to launch Blagovest at the beginning of summer, but then due to the recall of more than 70 engines of the second and third stages of the "Proton" to the Voronezh Mechanical Plant, the terms shifted to August.
The history of this project began with the former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov. According to the idea of ??the management of the department, the four Blagovest vehicles were to become the basis for a multifunctional telecommunications system. Some of its resources were supposed to be used for solving purely defense tasks (closed satellite communication, etc.), and part for commercial use. According to Kommersant's information, it was planned to create a company subordinate to the Ministry of Defense for this purpose, whose main goal would be to extract profit by selling the free resources of the satellite group. In November 2012, Serdyukov was dismissed, and Sergei Shoigu, who succeeded him in commercializing resources, reacted coolly, recalls the military source of Kommersant. Taking into account the underloading of the capacities of the already functioning apparatus, the project "Blagovest" could be closed, but in the end it remained with the reservation that all the capabilities of these satellites would be directed to in-house use.
The military maintains that the apparatus taken for control functions properly. This is also confirmed by a source in the space industry, specifying that in the near future the satellite will have to undergo a cycle of flight design tests.
At the same time, according to Kommersant's information, the system lacks ground-based equipment for full-scale operation, which is being developed by the Moscow Radio Engineering Research Institute. According to the Kommersant source in the space industry, this work is "being done with great difficulty" and there is no understanding yet when the tangible result will appear. TASS reported that the "Blagovest" system should be deployed before the end of 2020, which "will increase the capacity of the communication channels of the Ministry of Defense." However, without a land segment, this task will not be achieved.
The satellite will be equipped for the first time with antennas with a contour pattern, waveguides of Q and Ka frequency bands. They were also developed in JSC "Information Satellite Systems" named after academician M.F. Reshetnev. "The use of these ranges will allow the transmission of more information than satellites of past generations.
JSC "ISS" is the leading enterprise of the Russian Federation for the creation of space communication devices, retransmission, television broadcasting, geodesy, navigation. With the help of satellites created by the company, a wide range of services is provided both in our country and far beyond its borders.
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