Three Soyuz-2 launch pads to be built in Plesetsk by 2019

The launch area of the Plesetsk State Test Spaceport in the Arkhangelsk region is being renovated with the purpose of guaranteed reliable and safe launches of defense satellites, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported.

The launch area of the Plesetsk State Test Spaceport in the Arkhangelsk region is being renovated with the purpose of guaranteed reliable and safe launches of defense satellites, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported.

"The renovations will be over by 2019, and the spaceport will have three individual launch pads for light and medium-haul Soyuz-2 rockets of 1a, 1b and 1v modifications," says a report of the ministry's press service and information department seen by Interfax-AVN on May 21.

"The inaugural test launch of a medium-haul Soyuz-2 rocket from the new launch pad is planned to take place in the first half of 2017," it said.

Ground engineering equipment of the third launch pad, which has been used in medium-haul Molnia-M and Souyz-U missions, is being dismantled. The rockets' use at the Plesetsk spaceport has been discontinued due to the commissioning of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle.

Seventy-two buildings will be erected, another 26 will be renovated, and the launch pad will be transformed into an individual launch site by 2017.

"In addition, the goal of guaranteed reliable and safe launches of defense satellites will be achieved by the spaceport by 2019 through renovation of another launch pad, which has earlier launched Soyuz-U rockets. Preparations to renovate this launch pad of the Plesetsk spaceport are underway," it said.

So far, spaceport crews launch medium-haul Soyuz-2 rockets and light-haul Soyuz-2.1v rockets from the fourth launch paid of the Soyuz-2 launch area. Renovations are in progress at the 43rd spaceport site, the report said.

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