Balkhash Radar Station

Balkhash Radar Station (also described as Sary Shagan radar node and Balkhash-9) is the site of two generations of Soviet and Russian early warning radars. It is located on the west coast of Lake Balkhash near Sary Shagan test site in Kazakhstan. Although it is used for monitoring satellites in low Earth orbit it is mainly a key part of the Russian system of warning against missile attack. It provides coverage of western and central China, India, Pakistan and submarine missile launches in the Bay of Bengal.[2] There have been six radars at this site, although only one is operational in 2012, and it is run by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.

The military town for the station is called Balkhash-9 (Russian: Балхаш-9). The station is 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) east of the village of Gulshat in Karagandy Province and 90 kilometres (56 mi) north east of Priozersk, the main town for Sary Shagan.

Balkhash Radar Station
Балхаш РЛС
Sary Shagan, Kazakhstan
An image of the site from landsat. The Dnepr radar is a V bottom right and the Daryal radar bottom left.
Dnestr radars 1 and 2 taken by US spy satellite KH-7 in 1967. The town of Balkhash-9 is in the foreground.
Balkhash Radar Station is located in Kazakhstan
Balkhash Radar Station
Balkhash Radar Station
Coordinates46°36′11″N 74°31′52″E / 46.603076°N 74.530985°E
TypeRadar Station
Site information
Owner Russia
Controlled by Russian Air Force VKS
Open to
the public
Site history
Built by Soviet Union
Garrison information
Garrison46th Independent Radio-Technical Unit [1]

Space surveillance

Balkhash was founded as OS-2, a space surveillance site with four Dnestr (NATO codename "Hen House") radar stations, which were started in 1964 [1] and tested in 1968. It could detect satellites at an altitude of up to 3,000 kilometres (1,864 mi).[3][4] The prototype Dnestr radar, TsSO-P, was built nearby on the Sary Shagan test site 46°00′04.65″N 73°38′52.11″E / 46.0012917°N 73.6478083°E.

In 1967-8 a Dnepr early warning radar was started adjacent to the 4 Dnestr radars and it was commissioned in the early 1970s.[5]

The Dnepr radar is the only functioning radar on the site.[2][6][7]

Radar Coordinates Azimuth [5] Type Built Details
Radar 1 46°36′27″N 74°31′24″E / 46.60741°N 74.523304°E 270 Dnestr 1964-1970 Modernised to Dnestr-M. Operation 1970. Decommissioned September 1995. Derelict.[2][5]
Radar 2 46°36′52″N 74°31′23″E / 46.614574°N 74.523132°E 270 Dnestr 1964-1968 Operational 1968. Decommissioned January 1984. Derelict.[1][2]
Radar 3 46°37′31″N 74°31′02″E / 46.625333°N 74.51721°E 60 Dnestr 1964-1968 Operational 1968. Decommissioned January 1984. Derelict.[1][2]
Radar 4 46°37′53″N 74°30′45″E / 46.631463°N 74.512618°E 60 Dnestr 1964-1968 Operational 1968. Decommissioned September 1988. Derelict.[1][2]
Radar 5 46°36′11″N 74°31′52″E / 46.603076°N 74.530985°E 180, 124 Dnepr 1968-1972 Operational 1972. Modernised to Dnepr. Operational from 1974.[1][2][6]

Second generation Daryal radar

Balkhash had a Daryal-U radar (NATO codename "Pechora"), a bistatic phased-array early warning radar consisting of two separate large phased-array antennas 2.7 kilometres (2 mi) apart. The transmitter array was 30 by 40 metres (98 ft × 131 ft) and the receiver was 80 by 80 metres (260 ft × 260 ft) in size. The system is a VHF system operating at a wavelength of 1.5 to 2 meters (150 to 200 MHz). The claimed range of a Daryal installation is 6,000 kilometres (3,728 mi).[8]

Originally, at least seven Daryal facilities were planned, however, only the first two facilities completed, Pechora and Gabala, were ever operational.[5] Two Daryal-U type were to be built at Balkhash and Mishelevka, Irkutsk, neither were completed before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Coordinates Azimuth [5] Type Built
46°35′19.48″N 74°27′59.19″E / 46.5887444°N 74.4664417°E transmitter
46°36′2.70″N 74°29′51.67″E / 46.6007500°N 74.4976861°E receiver
152° (estimated) Daryal-U 1982-1994

The Balkhash Daryal started in 1982. Some testing started in 1991 and then stopped in 1994. In 2002 the never operational radar transferred to Kazakhstan who were left with the responsibility to demolish it. The radar was heavily looted and the receiver building ("building no. 2") burnt down in September 2004.[9][10] It further collapsed whilst being looted in January 2010, killing one.[11][12]

The Daryal contained organic pollutant polychlorinated biphenyl in its capacitors. The Kazakh government allocated $7 million to dispose of these and former Kazakh environment minister Nurlan Iskakov was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to four years in prison relating to this money in 2009.[13][14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Holm, Michael (2011). "49th independent Radio-Technical Unit". Soviet Armed Forces 1945-1991. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Днепр" на Балхаше ["Dnepr" in Balkhash] (in Russian). Novosti Kosmonavtiki. July 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  3. ^ Karpenko, A (1999). "ABM AND SPACE DEFENSE". Nevsky Bastion. 4: 2–47.
  4. ^ "Hen House". Federation of American Scientists. n.d. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  5. ^ a b c d e Podvig, Pavel (2002). "History and the Current Status of the Russian Early-Warning System" (PDF). Science and Global Security. 10: 21–60. doi:10.1080/08929880212328. ISSN 0892-9882. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2012-03-15.
  6. ^ a b Вручение знамени 16601 [Presentation of the Flag 16601] (video) (in Russian). Zvezda News. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2012-02-01.
  7. ^ Репортаж ОРТ о Балхаше-9 [Report on Balkhash-9 radar node] (video) (in Russian). Russia Today. 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  8. ^ Радиолокационная станция "Дарьял" [Radar Daryal] (in Russian). Russian Ministry of Defence. n.d. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  9. ^ Safiullin, Rakhim (2005-09-08). Пожар на сооружении №2, 17 сентября 2004 года [Fire in building number 2, September 17, 2004] (in Russian). Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  10. ^ Bogdanov, Konstantin (2011-11-29). "Russia activates radar aimed at Europe". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  11. ^ "One dead, 3 under rubble at former radar site in Kazakhstan". RIA Novosti. 2010-01-23. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  12. ^ Жертвы опасной станции [Victims of dangerous plant] (in Russian). Stan.TV. 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  13. ^ Бывший министр природы Казахстана Н.Искаков осужден на 4 года. За хищения из госбюджета [Former Environment Minister N Iskakov sentenced to 4 years for theft from the state budget] (in Russian). 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  14. ^ Asanov, Madi (2009-04-02). "Former Kazakh government minister arrested for corruption". Central Asia Online. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  15. ^ Asanov, Madi (2009-10-21). "Former Kazakh ecology minister sentenced to four years". Central Asia Online. Retrieved 2012-04-08.

External links

Daryal radar

The Daryal-type radar (Russian: Дарьял) (NATO: Pechora) is a Soviet bistatic early-warning radar. It consists of two separate large active phased-array antennas separated by around 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 1.5 kilometres (4,921 ft). The transmitter array is 30 m × 40 m (98 ft × 131 ft) and the receiver is 80 m × 80 m (260 ft × 260 ft) in size. The system is a VHF system operating at a wavelength of 1.5 to 2 meters (150 to 200 MHz). Its initial transmit capacity was 50 MW with a target capacity of 350 MW.The designer of the radars, RTI Mints, says that each Daryal receiver is 100 × 100 m and has 4,000 cross dipoles. Each transmitter is 40 × 40 m with 1,260 modules, each capable of 300 kW. They say the radar has a range of 6,000 km with targets between 0.1–0.12 m2.:74 It can track 20 objects at the same time and can cope with four jamming sources.:74 The designer, Viktor Ivantsov, was awarded the title "Hero of Labour" for his work on the Daryal.The first Daryal type radar was an active electronically scanned array built at Olenegorsk in 1977. It was the receiver building only and was called a Daugava rather than a Daryal. It used the transmitter of the adjacent Dnestr-M radar. Following this two Daryal radars were constructed in Pechora (1983) and Qabala (1985). New Daryal-U radars were planned for Balkhash-9 near Sary Shagan in Kazakhstan, Mishelevka near Irkutsk and Yeniseysk-15 near Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. Two Daryal-UM systems were to be constructed in Skrunda, Latvia, and Mukachevo, Ukraine.Originally, at least seven Daryal facilities were planned, however, only the first two facilities completed, named Pechora and Gabala, were ever operational.

The American Clinton administration offered financial assistance in completing the Mishelevka facility in exchange for amending the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow US deployment of a national missile defense system. Russia rejected this proposal and in 2002 the US unilaterally withdrew from the ABM treaty. The Mukachevo one in Ukraine was never completed after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Skrunda facility was demolished by a newly independent Latvia, arranged by the US Department of Defence. The Yeniseysk (Krasnoyarsk) Daryal-U site caused concern in the west over compliance with the ABM Treaty during its construction in the 1980s. Article VI(b) requires radars to be on the periphery of national territory and to face outwards and the Yeniseysk radar faced over Siberia. Following negotiations, in September 1989 the Soviets admitted it was a violation of the treaty, construction ceased and the facility was eventually dismantled.

Dnestr radar

Dnestr radar (Russian: Днестр) and Dnepr radar (Russian: Днепр), both known by the NATO reporting name Hen House are the first generation of Soviet space surveillance and early warning radars. Six radars of this type were built around the periphery of the Soviet Union starting in the 1960s to provide ballistic missile warnings for attacks from different directions. They were the primary Soviet early warning radars for much of the later Cold War. In common with other Soviet and Russian early warning radars they are named after rivers, the Dnestr and the Dnepr.The Dnestr/Dnepr radars were intended to be replaced by the newer Daryal radars starting in the 1990s. Only two of the planned Daryal radars became operational, due to issues such as the dissolution of the Soviet Union. As of 2012, the Russian early warning network still consists of some radars of this vintage. It is likely that all the existing radars will be replaced by the third generation Voronezh radars by 2020.

List of Russian military bases abroad

This article lists military bases of Russia abroad. The majority of Russia's military bases and facilities are located in former Soviet republics; which in Russian political parlance is termed the "near abroad".

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many of the early-warning radar stations ended up in former Soviet republics. Some, such as the radars at Skrunda-1 in Latvia and Dnestr radars in Ukraine are no longer part of the Russian early warning network. Others such as the radars in Belarus and Kazakhstan are rented by Russia.In 2003, Kommersant newspaper published a map of the Russian military presence abroad. In 2018, it was reported that Russia operates at least 21 significant military facilities overseas.

List of countries with overseas military bases

This is a list of overseas military bases by country. The establishment of military bases abroad enable a country to project power, e.g. to conduct expeditionary warfare, and thereby influence events abroad. Depending on their size and infrastructure, they can be used as staging areas or for logistical, communications and intelligence support. Many conflicts throughout modern history have resulted in overseas military bases being established in large numbers by world powers and the existence of bases abroad has served countries having them in achieving political and military goals. The British Empire and other colonial powers established overseas military bases in many of their colonies during the First and Second World Wars, where useful, and actively sought rights to facilities where needed for strategic reasons. At one time, establishing coaling stations for naval ships was important. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union established military bases where they could within their respective spheres of influence, and actively sought influence where needed. More recently, the War on Terror has resulted in overseas military bases being established in the Middle East.

Whilst the overall number of overseas military bases has fallen since 1945, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States still possess or utilize a substantial number. Smaller numbers of overseas military bases are operated by China, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan and Turkey.

The United States is the largest operator of military bases abroad, with 38 "named bases" having active duty, national guard, reserve or civilian personnel as of September 30, 2014. Its largest, in terms of personnel, was Ramstein AB in Germany, with almost 9,200 personnel.

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