Kosmos 2556 (Bars-M No. 3)
Russian Space Forces
Bars-M is the second incarnation of the Bars project, which was started in the mid 1990ies to develop a successor for the Komtea class of area surveillance satellites. The original Bars project was halted in the early 2000s. In 2007, TsSKB-Progress was contracted for Bars-M, for which reportedly the Yantar-based service module was replaced by a new developed advanced service module. The Bars-M satellites feature an electro-optical camera system called Karat, which is developed and built by the Leningrad Optical Mechanical Association (LOMO), and a dual laser altimeter instrument to deliver topographic imagery, stereo images, altimeter data and high-resolution images with a ground resolution around 1 meter.