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Dniester GAK

Dniester GAK The Soviet Dniester sonar system, which is a gigantic antenna held in place by 60-ton anchors, covers the sea borders of Russia in the Avacha Gulf of Kamchatka. the Dniester complex, developed in the 1970-1980s, consisted of two hydroacoustic antennas about a hundred meters long, located at the bottom of the sea and controlling approaches to the Avacha Gulf in the mode of direction finding along the primary hydroacoustic field created by an underwater object during movements. Installed near the bottom of the depths, the antennas reliably protected the basing centers of the Pacific Fleet in Kamchatka from unwanted visitors.

In the difficult economic environment of the last decade, the Central Research Institute Morphizpribor completed the tests of the new stationary Dniester GAK. The Dniester complex was created to provide monitoring of surface and underwater objects within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone. "Dniester" (the chief designer at the initial stage B.I. Lashkov, then R.Kh. Balyan) was started in 1974 and ended in 1993 with some success. The main objective of the development was the creation of an active-passive stationary sonar system (SGAK) for detecting submarines at distant approaches to the coast with achieving detection ranges that are many times higher than the same parameters for ship HAKs.

The institute spent the first decade of design work searching for answers to many unknown questions. These include the choice of methods for target sonar, hardware for receiving and processing information, the design of a number of elements of the components of the complex, cable communication lines and much more. A special vessel was designed and built as a carrier of the radiating antenna and the generator of the complex.

Thanks to the efforts of the entire staff of the institute, the organization of broad cooperation, in which Sevmash Enterprise, Zvyozdochka, Polar Star, Dalzavod, Amur Shipbuilding Plant, Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant, Khabarovsk Cable Plant, Tashkent Scientific Research Institute of Cable Industry participated , Central Research Institute Gidropribor, Central Design Bureau Vostok and many other enterprises of the country.

Designed to illuminate the underwater and surface conditions in the deep sea coastal waters. Low-noise submarines are detected in active mode using a low-frequency stationary sonar having a radiating antenna and a receiving antenna (PAR) mounted on the seafloor, connected by a cable to the shore station, where the receiving-radiating tract equipment and power supplies are located. Surface ships and vessels are detected in passive mode. The radiating and receiving antennas are delivered to the installation site by sea and are anchored at the bottom of the sea shelf. The greatest efficiency of the complex is achieved in areas that have a shelf with a short steep descent to great depths, and also without restrictions on hydrological and acoustic conditions. The complex can be delivered in various configurations.

The Rosoboronexport FSUEs catalog of naval equipment contains information on the Dniester stationary passive system designed to monitor surface and underwater objects within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone. In an abbreviated configuration, the Dniester provides:

  • detection by sonar and tracking surface ships, the development of elements of the movement of the target;
  • classification and accurate identification of detected surface targets using a database with the noise of ships and ships of various types, etc .;
  • issuing necessary information to coast guard patrol ships. In the maximum (expanded) configuration, the system additionally provides:
  • detection and tracking of underwater objects (submarines, including small and ultra-small, combat swimmers and their delivery vehicles);
  • classification and development of motion elements of detected underwater targets and the issuance of target designation data to patrol ships.

The Dniester may include from 8 to 60 extended sonar antennae, which provide coverage of an area of 1 to 9 thousand square meters. km for work on underwater targets, and from 30 to 300 thousand square meters. km when working on surface targets. At the same time, coastal equipment covers an area of only 20-30 square meters and is serviced by 1-2 operators and 1-2 technicians.

Detection range
Sub150 km
NK300 km
Horizontal Sector120 degrees
Determination accuracy
range1% of the scale
bearing1 degree
distance between transmitting and receiving antennas and the coast postup to 40 km
Antenna Life10 years

Dniester GAK Dniester GAK Dniester GAK
The Dniester complex required regular maintenance. According to open data, the overhaul period of underwater antennas was ten years, after which they were required to be lifted to the surface. To do this, ballast tanks were placed inside the antennas, filled if necessary with air.

An episode related to the docking of one of the elements of the Dniester, almost ended in tragedy, and allowed the general public to find out some details about this complex. In 2003, one of the antennas was successfully raised to the surface using a deep-sea apparatus equipped with a high-pressure air supply system. After carrying out maintenance work, she was returned to her place and continued to complicate the life of the submarine forces of foreign fleets.

In 2005, an attempt was made to raise the second antenna. Then, the underwater vehicle AS-28 descended to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, the tasks of which included joining two 600-meter hoses to the Dniester ballast tanks. Shortly after the commencement of work, the bathyscaphe was trapped in bound cables, cables and fishing nets, generously clinging to the antenna. In underwater captivity, divers spent about four days. The tragedy was avoided thanks to the help of British rescuers, who used their unmanned vehicle to liberate the AS-28.

After that, as Rear Admiral Sergey Zhandarov told the Military.RF news agency , the Dniester project was abandoned. After some time, the ship "Kamchatka", which was a kind of "light bulb" of this complex was withdrawn from the fleet.

In 2000, one of the structures "arbitrarily" left the installation site and drifted to the shores of Japan, where at first it was mistaken for a lost foreign submarine. The 45 million rubles spent by the Ministry of Defense on docking one of the antennas in 2015 testify to the fact that this invention from the 1970s was still in operation.

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Page last modified: 13-09-2021 17:22:11 ZULU