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Lourdes [Cuba]
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) facility
2259'00"N 8227'47"W

The SIGINT facility at Lourdes was among the most significant intelligence collection capabilities targeting the United States. This facility, less than 100 miles from Key West, is one of the largest and most sophisticated SIGINT collection facilities in the world. It was jointly operated by Russian military intelligence (GRU), FAPSI, and Cuba's intelligence services. The Federal Agency for Governent Conununications (FAPSI) evolved in the early 1990's from the former KGB's SIGINT service. According to Russian press sources, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) also had a communications center at the facility for its agent network in North and South America.

The complex is capable of monitoring a wide array of commercial and government communications throughout the southeastern United States, and between the United States and Europe. Lourdes intercepts transmissions from microwave towers in the United States, communication satellite downlinks, and a wide range of shortwave and high-frequency radio transmissions. It also served as a mission ground station and analytical facility supporting Russian SIGINT satellites.

On 15 July 2003, a US government-funded broadcasting agency condemned Cuba for allegedly jamming US international broadcasts to Iran. A statement released by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency which oversees all U.S. non-military international broadcasting, including the Voice of America, called the Cuban action "a 'deliberate and malicious' effort to block Iranian audiences from getting access to truthful news and information." The jamming was reportedly first detected on 06 July 2003, on the date of VOA's launch of a daily half-hour Persian language television news and analysis program.

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Map showing the Lourdes Facility in relation to Havana

Overview of the Lourdes SIGINT Facility. DigitalGlobe imagery as of 12 August 2002

DoD released SR-71 imagery of Lourdes released in 1981. This image was declassified to "sell" the Reagan Administration policy in Central America

Lourdes SIGINT Facility as it appears today

Recreation facilities including a Soccer field, Track, Baseball field and Tennis court

Barracks and Housing complex for the 1,000-1,500 Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel estimated to be stationed at Lourdes

This area was identified by the DoD in 1981 as a "Space Associated Electronics area - North"

This vehicle equipment maintenance area identified in 1981 by DoD appears largely abandoned as of 2002

DoD identified this as the "Space-Associated Eletronics area- South". This area appears to be active

In July 2003, Voice of America condemned Cuba for allegedly jamming US international broadcasts to Iran. These two Satellite dishes measuring 13 and 16 meters respectively are capable of jamming the Persian Language television news program in question

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:52:29 ZULU