Russia is developing a new satellite space radio intelligence system, the nation's defense Ministry announced Tuesday.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying by Sputnik that Russia continues to develop the Liana Electronic Intelligence Program (ELINT) using Lotos-S and Pion-NKS radio surveillance satellites that are planned to replace two aged Soviet Tselina satellites.
The upgraded ELINT system will be capable of locating ground-level radio signal emissions coming from both stationary and moving objects, thus providing valuable information on enemy military activity. Lotos-S is responsible for the ground component, while the Pion satellite is responsible for naval surveillance.
The creation and running of a satellite constellation required for the system is a priority for the government, he added.
The first Lotos-S was launched in 2009 but was re-launched in 2014 due to numerous problems in its maiden launch. Serial production kicked off in 2015, and the Defense Ministry plans to complete the system next year.
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