Russia sent three military communications satellites into orbit this month aboard a converted ballistic missile launched, marking the first space launch of 2013.
The Rockot launch vehicle lifted off at 1625 GMT on a two-hour mission to put three military communications satellites in an orbit 900 miles above Earth.
The Rockot is a modified two-stage missile built to deliver nuclear payloads to distant targets.
The mission was the first space launch of 2013, and it marked the first use of a Breeze upper stage since a similar vehicle ran into trouble during the launch of a Proton rocket in December.
The Proton rocket, which launches commercial communications satellites with the Breeze M upper stage variant, has been grounded since a Dec. 8 launch left Russia’s Yamal 402 spacecraft in the wrong orbit.
Military communications across the globe continue to advance and grow with providers such as ISR offering specialist services for the industry.