The first space launch of 2013, a Rockot launch vehicle, has successfully launched into orbit a trio of Russian military communications satellites.

The successful launch from Plesetsk, the Russian military's main launch site, was reported by Roscosmos on 15 January. While the three military communications satellites, called Strela-3 Improved/Rodnik, have successfully reached preliminary orbit, the satellites remain attached to the Breeze KM upper stage awaiting the completion of a final burn for insertion into final orbit.

The Rockot launch vehicle is essentially a repurposed intercontinental ballistic missile with a third stage added. Rockot has thrice launched similar constellations, once in 2008 and twice in 2009, and in 2012 launched a very similar civil model called Strela/Gonets-M.

Source: Flight International