MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - A Rokot carrier rocket has orbited three Russian military satellites, a spokesman for Russia's Space Forces said.
The Rokot, carrying three Cosmos-series satellites, was launched by Russia's Space Forces from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia early on Monday, Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.
Russia reportedly operates a network of about 60-70 military reconnaissance satellites. Some experts believe the new satellites could be part of Russia's Oko (Eye) orbital missile early warning network.
The Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM, in conjunction with a Breeze-KM upper-stage for commercial payloads.
Russia has carried out 16 space launches since the beginning of 2009.