Russian Space Forces plan to place a new radar system in the south of Russia on combat duty this year, the commander of the Space Forces said Monday, according to RIA Novosti.

"We plan to place a new radio location system in the south of Russia on combat duty in 2007," Col.-Gen. Vladimir Popovkin said. "We began construction [of the station] in the summer of 2006. The new station will help Russia reduce its dependence on other countries, particularly Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan."

Russia currently leases radar stations from Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Popovkin also said that the Space Forces also plan to launch an eight-ton satellite in the third quarter of this year at the request of the Russian Defense Ministry. The commander refused to reveal details of the launch.