The system consisted of four satellites, each with a mass of 870kg, diameter of 2m and length of 3.5. They orbit at an inclination of 89 degrees and an altitude of 1,000 km.
The satellites were first introduced in 1989. A newer version, called Nadezhda-M is reportedly smaller than the original one. It was due to be replaced by the Sterkh satellites. Nadezhda-M6 was launched on 28 June, 2001. Nadezhda-M7 was launched on 26 September, 2002. The satellites were designed and manufactured by NPO PM.