On October 23, 2007 at 08:39 MSK (04:39 UTC) the Space Forces conducted a successful launch of a Molniya-M rocket from the launch pad No. 2 of the launch complex No. 16 of the Plesetsk launch site. The satellite delivered into orbit, designated Cosmos-2430, is a new 73D6 satellite of the US-KS early-warning system (also known as Oko).
The satellite was given the international designation 2007-049A and the NORAD catalog number 32268. According to the NORAD data, inclination of the initial orbit of Cosmos-2430 is 62.8 degrees, orbital period is about 702 minutes. Apogee of the initial orbit is about 39,200 km, perigee – 560 km. According to the Space Forces, Cosmos-2430 reached its orbit at 09:35 MSK and was taken under control by the crews of the Main Space Systems Center (GITsIU KS) at 10:15 MSK.
Cosmos-2430 is deployed in an orbital plane that has about opposite to that occupied by the only US-KS satellite that has been in operation on highly-elliptical orbit – Cosmos-2422, launched in July 2006. Two other HEO satellites, Cosmos- 2388 and Cosmos-2393, ended operations in November 2006 and March 2007 respectively.
Russia also has an operational geostationary early-warning satellite, Cosmos-2379, believed to be a newer 71Kh6 spacecraft of the US-KMO system. Normally deployed at the point over 24 degrees West, where it provided support to the US-KS satellites, it has been recently moved to a new position – at 12 degrees East. These changes mean that even after the Cosmos-2340 begins operations, the Russian early-warning system will not be able to maintain 24-hour coverage of the U.S. territory. At the same time, geostationary Cosmos-2379 will probably provide some coverage of the Northern Atlantic.
Russia is also working on a new early-warning satellite system, but the fist test launch of this program is not expected before 2009.