Fwd = Russia 'blind and deaf' over failing satellites
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Original Date: 28 Sep 2001 18:43:47 -0000
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Russia 'blind and deaf' over failing satellites
Russia has been left "largely blind and deaf" because its satellite
system is failing, according to a former intelligence chief.
The country once had almost 200 orbiting surveillance and
communications platforms but now has only 93. More than 70 of these
are now operating over their original service lifetimes. Cuts in
funding have been blamed.
Alexei Vengeorvsky, until recently chairman of the intelligence
subcommittee of the Duma, said he warned that the country would be
left without eyes or ears in 1999 but that "no one listened".
Russia now has just 43 dedicated military satellites compared with the
170 operated by the US and can no longer carry out 24-hour
President Vladimir Putin has openly admitted his country's space
programme is failing to provide its military leaders with the
information they need.
According to the Vladivostok News, he said: "Only 40% of the space
exploration program for 1996 to 2000 was carried out. There is nothing
to be proud of, in either the civilian or the military programs.
"Space systems communications in the sphere of national security have
gone down. Maintaining global strategic security is impossible without
Story filed: 12:51 Friday 28th September 2001
Copyright � 2001 Ananova Ltd
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