THE RUSSIAN navy will launch its first satellite in October. A former SS-N-23 Skiff submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), the Shtil booster, will launch the 70kg Kompas research satellite into a 400km circular, 78° inclination orbit from a Northern Fleet nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea in a bid to generate commercial interest.

The Shtil is one of over 300 redundant Russian military missiles, many of which are being converted to satellite launchers. Former missile launchers which are already operational include the Start and Rokot.

The first Shtil - which became an operational SLBM in 1986 - was used to launch a 105kg German re-entry capsule on a suborbital flight in June 1995.

Source: Flight International