History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System

This article presents an overview of the history of development and the current status of the Soviet and Russian early-warning system, which was built to provide the Soviet strategic forces with information about a missile attack in an event of a nuclear conflict with the United States. Two main components of this system are considered--the network of early-warning radars, and the space-based early-warning system, which includes satellites on highly-elliptical and geosynchronous orbits. The system appears to be capable of detecting a massive attack, but cannot be relied upon to detect individual missile launches.