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  • Defence & Security
  • 2002-12-25 DSE-No. 148
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CIS DEFENSE. VOLGA TO SHIELD RUSSIA FROM THE WEST

Author: Ivan Safronov

Source: Kommersant, December 23, 2002, p. 5 EV OF RUSSIA HAS BEEN ENHANCED. NOW THAT TESTING IS COMPLETE AND THE FAULTS ARE FIXED, THE VOLGA RADAR OUTPOST HAS BEEN PLACED ON TEST COMBAT DUTY, DURING WHICH IT IS ALSO MONITORING OUTER SPACE.

NEW RUSSIAN RADAR INSTALLATION PUT INTO OPERATION IN BELARUS

The ground-based segment of the early missile warning system (EMWS) of Russia has been enhanced. Twenty years after construction began, the Volga radar installation, near Gantsevichi in Belarus, has been placed on test combat duty. The radar installation is supposed to replace two similar stations located in the Skrund of Latvia, both of them disassembled in 1998.

Researched in late 1970s by the Scientific Institute of Telecommunications, the Volga radar installation was initially designed to detect launches of Pershing II mid-range missiles of the US, stationed in Germany (these nuclear missiles could reach the Soviet Union in 6-8 minutes, unlike the intercontinental ballistic missiles, the flight time of which was 25-30 minutes), and targetting Soviet interceptors on them. Therefore, the Volga station became the only one among early missile warning systems created earlier (for instance, Dnepr, Dnestr and Daryal systems) operating in the UHF band.

The work in Gantsevichi began in 1982 and it was planned to commission the station within five years. The threat from which the Volga station was meant to shield the USSR vanished after the Soviet Union and America signed the INF Treaty in December 1987. Nevertheless, it was decided to resume construction of the radar outpost. By doing this, the Soviet Union violated the ABM Treaty, concluded in 1972, which banned creation of multi-purpose radar installations.


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