Russia to reopen missile warning station on Crimea
The radar station in the port city of Sevastopol will become fully operational in 2016
Russia will modernize and relaunch a Soviet-era radar station on the Crimean peninsula annexed from Ukraine to provide early warning of missile strikes, a senior defence official said Saturday.
The radar station in the port city of Sevastopol will become fully operational in 2016, the commander of the air and space defense forces, Alexander Golovko, was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency.
“The radar station’s Dnepr warning system on air strikes, based in Sevastopol, will become part of Russia’s missile warning system after modernization, and will become operational in 2016,” Golovko said.
Russia rented the Soviet-era facility from Ukraine for several years after the breakup of the USSR.
Russia is making huge investments into Crimea after annexing it in March this year in a demonstration of its intention to stay despite the annexation not being recognized internationally and the resulting sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
Russian forces will also from December 1 take over the Centre for Deep Space Communications in Yevpatoria in Crimea, which houses a giant radio telescope built in the 1970s, Golovko said.
Golovko said the Crimean installations would “make quite a weighty contribution” to Russia’s space program.
Russia plans to hike defense spending by 21.4 percent in 2015, with Crimea one of the priorities. Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, which is based in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, is also undergoing modernization.