A significant drawback associated with the 12-h Molniya orbit is the risk linked to hazardous levels of ionizing radiation due to passing the Van Allen belts.
This thickness of aluminum shielding is nearly 50% smaller than for the 12-h Molniya orbit. The total doses for protons are estimated to be 2-4 times smaller for the 14-h and 15-h orbits than for the 12-h orbit.
The perigee heights range from 2,131 km to 4,902 km [i.e., significantly higher than the 12-h Molniya orbit value (-500 km)].
Garand, 2011: Spatial and temporal sampling of polar regions from two-satellite system on Molniya orbit. J.
Eventually, such sensors should track all foreign satellites, but the geostationary orbit is a logical first step, given that the GSSAP will have access to nearly 600 satellites while many low Earth orbits (LEO) and even Molniya orbits contain only one or a few satellites.
Highly elliptical orbits, such as Molniya orbits, tend to have perigees in this range as well.
The KLC complex, with launch azimuths from 110 degrees to 220 degrees (from true north), was designed to provide launch support for polar, sun synchronous, tundra and molniya orbits
and long-range suborbital ballistic missions.