MOSCOW, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Russian Defense Ministry said Tuesday it started construction of its advanced Voronezh-class early missile warning radar system in central Russia.
The Defense Ministry said construction of the early-warning radar system started in the Orenburg region. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said the system is part of a broader missile defense system slated for completion by 2020.
"In addition to the Orenburg radar, the preparations for construction of new-generation radars are under way in the Krasnoyarsk and the Altai territories," he was quoted Tuesday as saying by Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti.
The Voronezh-class has an operational range of 3,728 miles. The Defense Ministry said it's been able to cut down on construction time by using modular-based systems for the radar system. The time-to-deployment is down from nearly 6 years to less than 18 months.
Four of the Voronezh-class radar stations are already deployed as part of a national missile defense system. Versions of the early-warning system are on duty in western Russia near the borders of former Soviet Republics.
The Kremlin said U.S. military plans for a missile shield in Eastern Europe could upset the regional balance of power.