Space Equipment to Be Further Upgraded in Russia This Year

Construction of a medium-class Soyuz-2 /Rus/ space rocket complex is to be completed in 2003 on the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia, Colonel-General Anatoly Perminov, commander of Russia's Space Forces, told a meeting of the forces' Military Council on Tuesday.

According to him, the cosmodrome will also reactivate work on the development of an Angara space rocket complex.

In its turn the Svobodny cosmodrome in the Far East is building a light-class Strela rocket complex, with work also to be continued on the upgrading of space and rocket defence facilities.

At the same time the general criticised the work of some units and elements of the space forces. "Non-rational overall spending is still high, and there are instances of theft of material and monetary resources. The military economy is adapting to the new economic relations too slowly: the package of organisational measures to arrange financial and economic activity is still clearly inadequate," Perminov noted.

The session also discussed flight safety of the military transport aviation of the space forces to support launches of carrier rockets and spacecraft, and also the work of the command and measuring system and space and rocket defence formations.

On all issues discussed the council adopted extended decisions.

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