Taifun are second-generation Soviet target and surveillance satellites used for testing air defense and space tracking systems. The Taifun-1 series consisted of nearly 40 spacecraft launched from the mid-1970s onward. Taifun-2 satellites, of which some 30 were launched between 1976 and 1995, differed from their predecessors in the type of equipment carried and also in the fact that they released up to 25 Romb subsatellites. All the Taifun spacecraft were placed into low Earth orbits of high inclination using Kosmos-3M launch vehicles from Plesetsk and Kaputsin Yar.