On February 27, 2015, at 14:01 MSK (11:01 UTC), the Space and Air Defense Forces carried out a successful launch of a Soyuz-2.1a launcher from the launch pad No. 4 of the launch complex No. 3 of the Plesetsk launch site. The satellite delivered into orbit is believed to be a next-generation optical reconnaissance satellite referred to as Bars-M. The satellite was developed and produced by the Progress Rocket and Space Center.

According to an official statement, the satellite is designated Cosmos-2503. It was registered as object 40420 by NORAD and received international designation 2015-009A. On March 3, 2015 it was transferred to a sun-synchronous orbit (550 x 563 km x 97.6 deg).