Russian space forces plan to launch 35 military satellites this year, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday.
Ivanov said eight of the planned launches have already been carried out, the Interfax news agency reported.
In 2002 the space forces conducted 17 launches and put 22 satellites into orbit. Russia currently has some 100 military anddual-purpose satellites, said Ivanov, adding that by 2006-2008 up to half of the satellites "will be dual-purpose".
He called for further development of the satellite fleet in theinterests of the armed forces.
"Without a space component, we cannot speak of army reforms or the formation of advanced armed forces," he said after his visiting Energia Rocket and Space Corporation.