On May 3, 2006 Russia successfully launched Soyuz-U rocket spacecraft from the Plesetsk launch site. The satellite delivered into orbit is an optical reconnaissance satellite of the Kobalt-M type, which was designated Cosmos-2420.

The launch was performed from the launch pad No. 2 of the launch complex No. 16 of the Plesetsk launch site by the Space Forces crews at 21:38 MSK (17:38 UTC). The spacecraft successfully reached its orbit and was taken under control of the Main Space Command and Control Center of the Space Forces at 21:50 MSK.

Cosmos-2420 received international designation 2006-017A and NORAD catalog number 29111. According to NORAD data, Cosmos-2420 was deployed in an orbit with inclination of 67.15 degrees, orbital period of about 89.5 minutes, apogee of 360 km, and perigee of 180 km. This is the orbit that optical reconnaissance satellite of the Yantar-4KS2/Kobalt family used in the past.

The Space Forces earlier announced a plan to launch a satellite of the Kobalt-M type in 2006 (and one satellite every year thereafter). It is a modification of the Kobalt optical reconnaissance satellite developed by TsSKB Progress and MZ Arsenal. The first satellite of this type, Cosmos-2410, was launched in September 2004 and completed its operations (prematurely) in January 2005.