Russia Announces Gonets 2.0 Satellite Communications System – Full Steam Ahead for Putin’s New Iron Curtain?

  • Russian Gonets 2.0 satellite system is scheduled to launch in 2024.
  • Currently Russia is using a US system.
  • Russia plans to amend its constitution to reflect only using Russian technology in the satellite communications sector.

Russia announced a new project pertaining to the satellite system Gonets 2.0. The system will have satellite phone options and a myriad of government  applications. It is on par with Putin’s plan to have Russia closed off in the same way as Russia is developing its own intranet, similar to the Great Fire Wall of China and eliminating privacy. The deployment of the system is scheduled for 2024. It will also have large data storage capabilities and the ability to create automatic subsystems. Russia estimates by 2025 that their satellite channel will be used by millions of devices in Russia. Besides the military applications, Gonets 2.0 can be used in the drone, energy, transport, oil and gas industries across Russia and some of the former Soviet block nations, like Belarus.

Currently Russia’s government agencies and even the Russian Ministry of Defense are using an Iridium system which is operated by a company in the US. The Iridium satellite constellation provides L-band voice and data coverage to satellite phones, pagers and integrated transceivers over the entire Earth’s surface. Iridium Communications owns and operates the constellation, additionally selling equipment and access to its services.

There are also Immarsat and Thuraya  systems on the Russian market. Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company offering global mobile services. It provides telephone and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate with ground stations through thirteen geostationary telecommunications satellites. Thuraya is a United Arab Emirates-based regional mobile-satellite service provider. The company operates two geosynchronous satellites and provides telecommunications coverage in more than 161 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and East Africa, Asia and Australia.

The Gonets 2.0 satellite system will be operated by Roskosmos, a state corporation responsible for a wide range and types of space flights and cosmonautics programs for the Russian Federation. The system is also going to be used on the International Space Station by the Russian cosmonauts, with available speed of 105 megabytes per second.

The International Space Station is a space station in low Earth orbit. The ISS program is a joint project between five participating space agencies: NASA, Roscosmos, JAXA, ESA, and CSA. The ownership and use of the space station are established by intergovernmental treaties and agreements.

China is very keen on creating joint-ventures to work conjointly on the Gonetz system with Russia. Gonets 2.0 will have 28 apparatuses (4 planes and 7 apparatuses on each plane). The launch will be executed by the Soyuz-2 with 7 apparatuses per launch. Soyuz-2 is the collective designation for the 21st-century version of the Russian Soyuz rocket. In its basic form, it is a three-stage carrier rocket for placing payloads into low Earth orbit.


The first generation Gonets system is being used by Roskosmos for the relay of the information on the spacecrafts, like Soyuz, which is a series of spacecraft designed for the Soviet space program by the Korolev Design Bureau in the 1960s that remains in service today. The Soyuz succeeded the Voskhod spacecraft and was originally built as part of the Soviet crewed lunar program.

Gonets is a Russian civilian low Earth orbit communication satellite system. It consists of a number of satellites, derived from Strela military communication satellites. The first two satellites, which were used to test and validate the system, were launched by a Tsyklon-3 carrier rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on 13 July 1992, and were designated Gonets-D. The first operational satellites, designated Gonets-D1, were launched on 19 February 1996. After launch, the first three satellites were given military Kosmos designations, a practice which was not continued with the other satellites. —wikipedia

The Kremlin plans to add changes to Russian laws to include the use of the Russian made satellite systems only. The changes to Russian constitution are expected to be added next year.

Putin is on track with his agenda of creating a new version of the Iron Curtain for Russia. The course is clear and the Kremlin is executing its agenda full speed.

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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