spent tens of billions of dollars in the past few years to upgrade its
satellite launching capabilities, and its space program in general. This
includes moving launches from sites in Central Asia (that used to be part of
the Soviet Union) to Russia, and upgrading launch facilities inside Russia.
Cold War era launcher technology has been replaced. Poisonous rocket fuels,
which are costly, and dangerous, to handle, are being phased out (as soon as
existing rockets that use the stuff are fired off into space). Many of these
rockets had ancient (analog) control systems, that have been replaced with more
reliable and efficient digital ones. Existing rocket designs have been upgraded
so they can lift more weight, and many are being modified so they can launch
military or civilian payloads. Some of the satellites are also dual use.
Russia is also abandoning
early warning radars outside of Russia. These radars were in parts of the
Soviet Union that became independent in 1991. Since then, there have been
problems with those governments, particularly with sharply increased fees
demanded. Russia has decided that it would be safer, if not cheaper, if all the
early warning radars were on Russian territory. The new radars use much more
modern technology, as do a growing number of Russian ground control stations.