The Commander of the Space Forces, Col.-General Vladimir Popovkin said today that Russia will begin tests of a "new orbital segment of the early-warning system" in two years.

The new system might be what is known as "EKS", which was designed in about 1999-2000, reportedly by the Energiya Corporation. Details about the new system are scarce, but it would probably include satellites on highly-elliptical and geostationary orbits, just like the current system. Some reports indicate that in addition to detecting missile launches, satellites of the new system will provide communication for ballistic missiles (the title reportedly stands for "Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Systema" or "Integrated Space System").

At the same time, EKS it is not the only early-warning satellite project that has been proposed by the industry. A competing project was developed by the Lavochkin Design Bureau, which produced satellites of the US-KS and US-KMO systems. It appears, however, that it did not get the order for the new system.

Popovkin also admitted that the current space-based early-warning system does not provide continuous detection of missile launches. He disclosed that in 2007, the system was able to detect four ballistic missile launches (three of them Russian) and seven space launches.