The 820th Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning (Russian: Главный центр предупреждения о ракетном нападении (Гцпрн), tr. GTsPRN) is the Russian early warning network against ballistic missile attack. It has headquarters in the village of Timonovo  near Solnechnogorsk outside Moscow and is part of the Russian Space Forces. The centre consists of a network of early warning radar stations which transmit their data to the control centre near Solnechnogorsk. Other information comes from the early warning Oko and EKS satellites as well as the Don-2N missile defence radar. Information from the centre could be used for a launch on warning nuclear missile attack or to engage the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system.
|820th Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning|
Главный центр предупреждения о ракетном нападении
|Part of Russian Space Forces|
The centre is the control centre for the radar network. Here signals from every station are received and, if necessary, a message can be sent to the presidential 'nuclear briefcase' for authorisation to use nuclear weapons. There is a communications centre which has a number of backup channels to communicate with each radar station. If a ballistic missile attack is discovered the duty commander reports this to the central command post of the General Staff. At the same time the duty engineer reports it to the commander of the Aerospace Defence Forces, for redundancy.
Information comes from the radar network, early warning satellites and the space surveillance network SKKP. The centre also discovers and monitors space objects through the use of radar which are fed into the SKKP network.
The Russian missile warning system originates in the Soviet Union and is often known by its Soviet initials SPRN (СПРН), from Russian: Система предупреждения о ракетном нападении, tr. Sistema preduprezhdeniya o raketnom napadenii 'Missile attack warning system'. It started on 15 February 1971 as two Dnestr-M radars at Olenegorsk and Skrunda with a command post in Solnechnogorsk. It expanded by the addition of Dnestr-M radars in Mishelevka and Balkhash in 1973, a Dnepr radar in Sevastopol in 1975 and another in Mukachevo in 1977. The Daugava radar, a Daryal receiver, started operations in 1975 at Olenegorsk. In 1978 an upgraded warning system called Крокус (Krokus) was introduced.
The 1972 Anti-ballistic missile treaty requires that early warning radar stations are located on the periphery of national territory and face outwards. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 this resulted in many of the stations ending up in newly independent states. The radar station at Skrunda, now in Latvia, closed in 1998. Other stations now overseas were Sevastopol and Mukachevo (both in Ukraine), Balkhash (Kazakhstan) and Gabala (Azerbaijan).
The Volga radar at Baranavichy in Belarus came online in 2003 and the two Ukrainian radars closed in 2009. In the mid-2000s Russia started the roll out of the next generation of early warning radar, the Voronezh. The first station in Lekhtusi near St Petersburg went on combat duty in 2012. Other stations in Kaliningrad and Armavir were made operational in the following years. The Russian military has expressed a desire to replace or replicate all overseas radars with domestic stations as overseas ones cannot be relied upon in times of tension and war. New stations were commissioned in locations such as Barnaul, Orsk, Orenburg and Yeniseysk.
In 1998 SPRN became part of the missile and space defence organisation ракетно-космической обороны (RKO) together with SKKP and the anti-missile troops. In 2001 these services became part of the newly founded Space Troops, and were incorporated as the 3rd Independent Missile and Space Defense Army.
The Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning was formed on 1 December 2009 and since December 2011 it had been part of the Space Command of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces, together with facilities such as the 821st Main Space Intelligence Centre and 153rd Titov Main Space Testing Centre.
The A-135 (NATO: ABM-3 Gorgon) anti-ballistic missile system is a Russian military complex deployed around Moscow to counter enemy missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. It became operational during 1995. It is a successor to the previous A-35, and complies with the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
The A-135 system attained "alert" (operational) status on February 17, 1995. It is operational although its 51T6 (NATO reporting name: SH-11) component was deactivated in February 2007. A newer missile (PRS-1M) is expected to replace it. There is an operational test version of the system at the test site in Sary Shagan, Kazakhstan.
The system is operated by the 9th Division of Anti-Missile Defence, part of the Air Defence and Missile Defence Command of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.Ballistic Missile Early Warning System
The RCA 474L Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS, "474L System", Project 474L) was a United States Air Force Cold War early warning radar, computer, and communications system, for ballistic missile detection. The network of 12 radars, which was constructed beginning in 1958 and became operational in 1961, was for detecting "a mass ballistic missile attack launched on northern approaches [for] 15 to 25 minutes' warning time" also provided Project Space Track satellite data (e.g., about 1/4 of SPADATS observations).Distant Early Warning Line
The Distant Early Warning Line, also known as the DEW Line or Early Warning Line, was a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska (see Project Stretchout and Project Bluegrass), in addition to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. It was set up to detect incoming Soviet bombers during the Cold War, and provide early warning of any sea-and-land invasion.
The DEW Line was the northernmost and most capable of three radar lines in Canada and Alaska. The first of these was the joint Canadian-US Pinetree Line, which ran from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island just north of the Canadian border, but even while it was being built there were concerns that it would not provide enough warning time to launch an effective counterattack. The Mid-Canada Line (MCL) was proposed as an inexpensive solution using a new type of radar. This provided a "trip wire" warning located roughly at the 55th parallel, giving commanders ample warning time, but little information on the targets or their exact location. The MCL proved largely useless in practice, as the radar return of flocks of birds overwhelmed signals from aircraft.
The DEW Line was proposed as a solution to both of these problems, using conventional radar systems that could both detect and characterize an attack, while being located far to the north where they would offer hours of advanced warning. This would not only provide ample time for the defenses to prepare, but also allow the Strategic Air Command to get its active aircraft airborne long before Soviet bombers could reach their bases. The need was considered critical and the construction was given the highest national priorities. Advanced site preparation began in December 1954, and the construction was carried out in a massive logistical operation that took place mostly during the summer months when the sites could be reached by ships. The 63-base Line reached operational status in 1957. The MCL was shut down in the early 1960s, and much of the Pinetree line was given over to civilian use.
In 1985, as part of the "Shamrock Summit", the US and Canada agreed to transition DEW to a new system known as the North Warning System (NWS). Beginning in 1988, most of the original DEW stations were deactivated, while a small number were upgraded with all-new equipment. The official handover from DEW to NWS took place on 15 July 1993.EKS (satellite system)
EKS (reportedly standing for Russian: Единая космическая система, tr. Edinaya Kosmicheskaya Sistema meaning Unified Space System) (GRAU designation: 14F142) is a developing programme of Russian early warning satellites as a replacement for the US-KMO and US-K satellites of the Oko programme.:7 These satellites identify ballistic missile launches from outer space and complement early warning radars such as the Voronezh. This gives advance notice of a nuclear attack and would provide information to the A-135 missile defence system which protects Moscow, as well as other Russian missile defense and counterattack resources. Six satellites are planned to be initially orbited. The first of them was launched on November 17, 2015 and as of November 2017 there are two in service.Main Space Intelligence Centre
The 821st Main Space Intelligence Centre (Russian: Главный центр разведки космической обстановки, tr. GTsRKO) is the headquarters of the Russian military's space surveillance network, SKKP. The centre is part of the Russian Space Forces and receives intelligence from a network of reporting stations which includes the Russian missile attack early warning network as well as some stations only used for space surveillance such as Okno and Krona. The purpose of SKKP is to detect satellites, identify them and to discern their orbits. It maintains the Russian catalogue of space objects and provides data which could be used to support space launches, feed an anti-satellite programme and provide intelligence on hostile military satellites. It is the Russian equivalent of the United States Space Surveillance Network.Missile launch facility
A missile launch facility, also known as an underground missile silo, launch facility (LF), or nuclear silo, is a vertical cylindrical structure constructed underground, for the storage and launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
The structures typically have the missile some distance below ground, protected by a large "blast door" on top. They are usually connected, physically and/or electronically, to a missile launch control center.North American Aerospace Defense Command
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD ), known until March 1981 as the North American Air Defense Command, is a combined organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection for Northern America. Headquarters for NORAD and the NORAD/United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) center are located at Peterson Air Force Base in El Paso County, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The nearby Cheyenne Mountain Complex has the Alternate Command Center. The NORAD commander and deputy commander (CINCNORAD) are, respectively, a United States four-star general or equivalent and a Canadian three-star general or equivalent.Pivan-1
Pivan-1 (Russian: Пивань-1) is a military townlet near Komsomolsk-na-Amur in Khabarovsk Krai in the Russian Far East which is the location of the eastern control centre for Russia's Oko satellites. These give early warning of ballistic missile launches, mainly from the continental United States. The site is part of the Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning and information from here is processed at the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces centre in Solnechnogorsk and could be used, together with early warning radar such as the Voronezh, for launch on warning or the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system. A similar facility is located at Serpukhov-15 near Moscow.
The name Pivan-1 is a code name following the practice established to name closed cities and military facilities. It is named after the nearest settlement, Pivan.Russian Aerospace Defence Forces
The Aerospace Defence Forces Branch, short: ASDFB (Russian: Войска воздушно-космической обороны (ВВКО), tr. Voyska vozdushno-kosmicheskoy oborony (VVKO) was a branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation responsible for aerospace defence, and the operation of Russian military satellites and the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. It was established on the 1 December 2011 and replaced the Russian Space Forces. The ASDFB was first commanded by former Space Forces commander Colonel General Oleg Ostapenko, who was promoted to Deputy Minister of Defence in November 2012. On 24 December 2012, Aleksandr Golovko was appointed the new commander. Although it is officially translated as aerospace in English, it covers both attacks from the air and from (outer) space, and some Russian writers translate it as "air and space" instead.On the 1 August 2015, the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces were merged to form the Russian Aerospace Forces.The Russian Aerospace Defence Forces duties for space defense are now with the Russian Space Forces under the umbrella of the new Russian Aerospace Forces. The RADF today only provides air defense responsibilities.Russian Air Force
The Russian Air Force (Russian: Военно-воздушные cилы России, tr. Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily Rossii, literally "military air forces of Russia") is a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces, the latter being formed on 1 August 2015 with the merger of the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces. The modern Russian Air Force was originally established on 7 May 1992 following Boris Yeltsin's creation of the Ministry of Defence; however, the Russian Federation's air force can trace its lineage and traditions back to the Imperial Russian Air Service (1912–1917) and the Soviet Air Forces (1918–1991).
The Russian Navy has its own independent air arm, the Russian Naval Aviation, which is the former Soviet Aviatsiya Voyenno-morskogo Flota (lit. "Aviation of the military-sea fleet"), or AV-MF.Russian Space Command
Space Command (Russian: Космическое командование) was the part of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces responsible for military space-related activities. It was formed on 1 December 2011 when the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces were created as a merger of the Russian Space Forces with part of the Russian Air Force. Responsibilities of the command included missile attack warning, space surveillance and the control of military satellites. The use of the term Space Command may be influenced by the United States Space Command.
Space Command was one of four components of the Aerospace Defence Forces, the others were Air and Missile Defence Command, Plesetsk Cosmodrome and the arsenal. Subsumed under Space Command were three centres with their associated stations.Russian Space Forces
The Russian Space Forces (Russian: Космические войска России, tr. Kosmicheskie Voyska Rossii) are a branch of the Russian Aerospace Forces, that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection for Russia. Having been reestablished following the 1 August 2015 merger between the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces after a 2011 dissolving of the branch. The Russian Space Forces were originally formed on the 10 August 1992 and the creation of the Russian Armed Forces. The organisation shared control of the Baikonur Cosmodrome with the Russian Federal Space Agency. It also operated the Plesetsk and the Svobodny Cosmodromes. However the Russian Space Forces were dissolved in July 1997 and incorporated into the Strategic Missile Troops.The Russian Space Forces were once again reformed as an independent troop on the 1 June 2001 under a military reorganisation. However, by December 2011, it was dissolved once again and this time replaced by the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.On 1 August 2015, the Russian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces were merged to form the Russian Aerospace Forces. The Russian Space Forces were reestablished as a result, and are now one of three sub-branches of the new armed force.Serpukhov-15
Serpukhov-15 (Russian: Серпухов-15) is a military townlet near Kurilovo in Kaluga Oblast which is the location of the western control centre for Russia's Oko satellites. These give early warning of ballistic missile launches, mainly from the continental United States. The site is part of the Main Centre for Missile Attack Warning and information from here is processed at the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces centre in Solnechnogorsk and could be used, together with early warning radar such as the Voronezh, for launch on warning or the A-135 anti-ballistic missile system. A similar facility is located at Pivan-1 in the Russian Far East.
The name Serpukhov-15 is a code name following the practice established to name closed cities and military facilities. It is named after the nearest city, Serpukhov in Moscow Oblast which is about 35 kilometres (22 mi) away.Solnechnogorsk
Solnechnogorsk (Russian: Солнечного́рск, lit. sunny mountain town) is a town and the administrative center of Solnechnogorsky District in Moscow Oblast, Russia, located on the Moscow–St. Petersburg Highway and the Moscow–St. Petersburg railway, on the coast of Senezh Lake, 65 kilometers (40 mi) northwest from Moscow. Population: 52,944 (2010 Census); 58,374 (2002 Census); 55,554 (1989 Census).It was previously known as Solnechnaya Gora (until 1938).