Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome military satellite at 09:42 GMT on 24 March 2016.
It was second launch performed from Plesetsk this year. This military satellite should be considered as highly classified payload – Russian authorities kept it in secret until yesterday. Soyuz-2.1A rose over Plesetsk Cosmodrome with imaging satellite on atop at 09:42 GMT yesterday. According to Tass news agency and statement from Ministry of Defense, satellite was deployed after ten minutes of flight. Launch was performed without any problems and satellite reports its good condition – satellite code name is Kosmos-2515. According to some sources satellite belongs to Bars-M digital imaging satellite family. First from Bars-M was launched on February 2015 and it was designed to replace old satellites basing on film-return technology. Bars-M weighs around 4000 kg and is conventionally powered by two deployable solar arrays and onboard battery; it was design to remain operational for at least five years. Satellite was manufactured by TsSKB Progress, but imaging onboard equipment KARAT was manufactured by Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association (LOMO). KARAT is electro-optical device with laser altimeter designed to bring high resolution at 1 m. Launch was confirmed by NORAD – orbit of Kosmos-2515 is 324 km x 536 km with inclination at 97.6.