Military Wiki
EKS (Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Systema)
Manufacturer RKK Energia (bus) and TsNII Kometa (payload.)[1]
Country of origin  Russia[1]
Operator Russian Aerospace Defence Forces
Applications Early warning of missile attack
Bus Possibly USP (Victoria)[1]
Power Deployable solar arrays
Batteries Yes
Equipment Military early warning system and a reported secure emergency communications payload to be used in case of a nuclear war.[1]
Regime Molniya orbits
Status Deployment, first satellite EKS-1 launched in November 2015.[2][3]
Built 2
On order 4
Launched 2
Retired 0
First launch EKS 1 / Tundra-L11, November 17, 2015[2]


EKS (reportedly standing for Russian: Единая космическая система, romanized: Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Sistema meaning Unified Space System[4]) (GRAU designation: 14F142) is a developing[2][3] programme of Russian early warning satellites as a replacement for the US-KMO and US-K satellites of the Oko programme.[5]:7 These satellites identify ballistic missile launches from outer space and complement early warning radars such as the Voronezh. This gives advance notice of a nuclear attack and would provide information to the A-135 missile defence system which protects Moscow, as well as other Russian missile defense and counterattack resources. Six satellites are planned to be initially orbited.[1] The first of them was launched on November 17, 2015[2] and as of November 2017 there are two in service.[6]


EKS is designed as a replacement for the current system of early warning satellites called Oko, which had its first launch in 1972 [7]:36[8] and was described in 2005 as "hopelessly outdated".[9] Oko has two types of satellites: US-KMO are in geosynchronous orbits and have an infrared telescope to identify ballistic missile launches.[10] US-K are in Molniya orbits and are an earlier model with optical telescopes and infrared sensors.[11] The Oko system has two control centres with the main one being Serpukhov-15 outside Moscow. [7]:40[7]:52

Oko is part of the Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning[12] which is under the Space Command (KK) of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.[13]

In 2014 Kommersant published that the first satellite, of a type named Tundra, would be launched in 2014. According to that report they would operate on highly elliptical orbits. The satellite was not launched in 2014, however.[14] It was eventually launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on 17 November 2015, using a Soyuz 2.1b rocket with a Fregat stage, under the name EKS-1 / Tundra-11L.[2][3][15] Until 2020, five more satellites are planned to be orbited.[1]


Information on the new EKS system is scarce but it appears that it was designed by Energia Corp in 1999-2000 and was selected against a proposal from Oko manufacturer NPO Lavochkin.[4] The Russian Ministry of Defence awarded the contract to Energia in 2007 with an expected delivery date of 2008, for a test launch in 2009.[16] In 2009 it was reported to be delayed until late 2011/early 2012.[17] In 2011 the Russian MoD sued Energia for the delay, claiming that a contract extension issued until May 2010 was invalid and asking for 262 million rubles in compensation.[18] According to news reports Energia said that the contract extension was valid and that the problem was with their subcontractors.[18] In addition they said that the Russian MoD kept changing the specification and demanding things that were beyond the capabilities of the industry.[18] The Russian MoD lost the court case. Energia delivered a satellite in 2009 but as of April 2012 there had not been a test launch.[16]

In April 2012 minister Alexander Sukhorukov announced that a contract had been signed to manufacture these satellites and that there would be a launch later in 2012.[19] The last satellites of the previous Oko system were Kosmos 2479,[20] launched on 30 March 2012, and Kosmos 2469, launched on 30 September 2010.[21]

The first EKS satellite (Kosmos 2510, EKS-1, Tundra 11L) was eventually launched from Plesetsk on November 17, 2015 using a Soyuz-2.1b rocket[2] and as of November 2017 there are two in service.[6]


Satellite[1] COSPAR international designator NORAD catalog # Orbit Launch Date End Date Estimated Operational Life
Kosmos 2510 (EKS 1) (Tundra 11L) Template:COSPAR 41032 Molniya[22] 38,552 x 1,626 km, 63.37º 17 November 2015 Active
Kosmos 2518 (EKS 2) (Tundra 12L) Template:COSPAR 42719 Molniya[6] 38,552 x 1,626 km, 63.37º 25 May 2017 Active[23]

See also

  • Molniya orbit, the orbit to be used by the Tundra / EKS satellites [6]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Gunter's Space Page - Tundra (EKS, 14F142)". Retrieved 2015-12-17. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Soyuz 2-1B launches EKS-1 to upgrade Russian Early Warning System". Retrieved 2015-12-17. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Russia to Launch First Satellite for New Space Defense Network in November". Retrieved 2015-06-30. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Podvig, Pavel (August 22, 2007). "Russia is working on new early-warning satellites". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  5. Podvig, Pavel; Zuang, Hui (2008). Russian and Chinese Responses to US Military Plans in Space. Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences. ISBN 0-87724-068-X. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Russia’s Soyuz launches EKS Missile Warning Satellite, ends Year-Long Military Launch Gap". Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Podvig, Pavel (2002). "History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System" (pdf). pp. 21–60. Digital object identifier:10.1080/08929880212328. ISSN 0892-9882. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. 
  8. Zak, Anatoly (April 18, 2012). "Oko early-warning satellite". Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  9. Podvig, Pavel (November 21, 2005). "Hopelessly outdated". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  10. Krebs, Gunter. "US-KMO (71Kh6)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  11. Krebs, Gunter. "US-KS (74Kh6)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  12. Podvig, Pavel (2012-01-30). "Early Warning". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  13. "Structure". Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. n.d.. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  14. Pavel, Podvig (2014-07-19). "New-generation early-warning satellite, Tundra, to be launched in 2014". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 2015-02-10. 
  15. "Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket successfully launches Tundra satellite - SpaceFlight Insider". 
  16. 16.0 16.1 Podvig, Pavel (August 18, 2011). "New generation early-warning satellite turned up in court". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  17. Podvig, Pavel (April 29, 2009). "Early-warning satellites - old and new". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Safronov Jr, Ivan (August 17, 2011). "Военные проиграли космический иск космической корпорации". Kommersant. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 
  19. "Минобороны РФ заключило контракты на создание спутников для отслеживания ракетных запусков". ITAR-TASS. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  20. "Oko Satellite successfully delivered to Orbit". Spaceflight 101. 2012-03-30. Archived from the original on 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  21. Pavel, Podvig (2012-03-30). "Cosmos-2479 - new geostationary early warning satellite". Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  22. "Russia’s 1st EKS Missile Warning Satellite enters surprising Orbit". Retrieved 8 July 2017. 

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