Russia will be resuming work on its airborne laser anti-satellite system, according to a defense industry source quoted by Izvestia. The new system will be based on the Sokol Eshelon system that includes a laser, 1LK222, deployed on the A-60 aircraft (a modification of Il-76).

The project has history that goes back to the early 1980s. The Sokol Eshelon system apparently has a capability to blind sensors of satellites "on all types of orbits." A test of the system was conducted in August 2009 and according to the Izvestia source the system showed some promise. But no decision to continue the work was made and the aircraft has been sitting on the tarmac in Taganrog since then.

Now the developers of the system - Almaz-Antey, the Beriev Aircraft Company in Taganrog, and Khimpromavtomatika in Voronezh - want to give the laser the capability to destroy satellites (as well as aircraft and ballistic missiles). The industry source claimed that the ground-based prototype of the laser is "almost ready" and that the aircraft will perform its first test flight some time in 2013.