Russia has launched a Soyuz-U carrier rocket, with a Cosmos-series military satellite, from the Plesetsk space centre in north Russia.

The Soyuz-U carrier rocket successfully orbited a satellite the Cosmos 2455 satellite, which forms part of Russia’s Oko orbital missile early warning network.

Cosmos 2441, launched on 26 July 2008, features enhanced imaging technology with an extended lifetime of up to seven years.

The Soyuz-U rocket, with a payload of up to 6,950kg, is intended to orbit Soyuz and Progress manned and cargo spacecraft, as well as special-purpose satellites including Cosmos, Resurs-F, Foton and Bion.

According to reports, Russia operates a network of 60-70 reconnaissance satellites and has executed 16 space launches since the beginning of 2009.