On July 28, 2012 at 05:35 MSK (01:35 UTC) the Space Forces conducted a successful launch of a Rockot space launcher with Briz-KM booster stage from the launch pad No. 3 of the launch complex No. 133 of the Plesetsk test site. The rocket successfully delivered to orbit two Gonets-M satellite, their military counterpart Strela-3, and a civilian Yubileiny-2/MiR. The Strela-3 military satellite was designated Cosmos-2481.

Cosmos-2481 received the NORAD number 38733 and the international designation 2012-041A. The two Gonets-M satellites were designated Gonets-M03 (38734, 2012-041B) and Gonets-M04 (38736, 2012-041D). The satellites were deployed in nearly circular orbits with altitude of about 1500 km, inclination of 82.5 degrees, and orbital period of about 116 minutes.

Previous launch of Strela-3 communication satellites, Cosmos-2467 and Cosmos-2468, took place in September 2010.

UPDATE: It was reported that the two Gonets-M satellites are Gonets-M No. 13 and No. 15. Cosmos-2481 is a satellite of the 17F13 type.