Sevastopol is the largest non-freezing commercial and fishing Black Sea port of Ukraine and one of the major industrial, scientific, and cultural centers of the country and Eastern Europe in general. Located on the site of the ancient Greek colony, Khersonesus, the city itself and the Black Sea Fleet, based in Sevastopol, have occupied a prominent place in Russian and Soviet history. It is located on southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula, on the same parallel with the Italian city of Milan and the French city of Lyons.
Sevastopol is located on the southwest extremity of a Crimean peninsula, where the hilly coast is cut up by bays. Located in southern Ukraine, the Crimean peninsula juts into the Black Sea and connects to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. The Crimea covers an area of 27,000 square kilometers. The Crimean mountains in the south rise up to 1,545 m. (5,060 ft.) before they drop down sharply to the Black Sea. The southern coast, protected by the mountains has a mild climate. The major cities are Simferopol (the capital), Sevastopol (the base of Russian and Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet), Yalta (major tourist area), Bakhchisaray (the capital in 14-15th centuries and center of the Crimean Tatars), and Kerch (industrial center).
Voronezh High Depot Readiness (HDR)
Russia plans to set up the Voronezh-SM state-of-the-art missile warning radar in Crimea. In an August 2017 interview with Sputnik, the radar’s chief designer Sergei Boyev spoke about the strengths of the new system and the benefits of locating it on the strategic Black Sea peninsula. Boyev explained Russia’s decision to put a new state-of-the-art missile defense radar in Crimea by the the poor condition of the existing Dnepr radar stations in Sevastopol, which Russia inherited from Ukraine.
“The Dnepr radars are currently deployed in Balkhash, Murmansk and Sevastopol. The latter is in a very bad condition, hence the decision to replace it with the Voronezh-SM. This is an ideal place for it,” Sergei Boyev told Sputnik. Unlike the Dnepr radar system developed back in the 1950s, the Voronezh-SM is a new generation system capable of locating and tracking incoming targets with pinpoint precision.
In an interview with Sputnik, military expert Mikhail Khodaryonok spoke about the advantages of employing a centimeter-range radar. “The Voronezh radars come in meter, decimeter and centimeter ranges. The centimeter range is good in that it can more accurately determine the coordinates of and the distance to a flying object, plot its trajectory and tell the operator exactly where the incoming warhead is going to hit. This is essential for an early missile warning system,” Khodaryonok explained.
He also described the place where the Voronezh-SM radar will be deployed as “ideal”. The new Voronezh radars are able to spot targets up to 6,000 kilometers [3,700 miles] away and at altitudes of up to 8,000 kilometers [5,000 miles]. “Cape Chersoneses is an ideal place because the Crimean peninsula juts into the Black Sea. Also, compared to the other early warning radars Russian now has, the Voronezh-SM will be at the very forefront of our missile defense and will keep an eye on the critical southern and western approaches, cover a sizeable sector of our airspace and quickly alert the country’s leadership about potential missile threats,” Khodaryonok emphasized.
The construction of the network of Voronezh radars is expected to be completed by 2018. As of 2017, four of the planned ten Voronezh-class radars were in operation, with another three operating in test mode. Two more are under construction, and one more is in the pipeline. The currently deployed systems monitored the airspace between Morocco and Spitzbergen, from Southern Europe to the North African coast, continental Europe (including the UK) and the Pacific from US West Coast to India.
Dnepr / Hen House
Dnepr early warning radar is the later modification of the first generation of the Soviet systems of this kind. NATO reporting name for the entire range is Hen House. It can detect missile launches at ranges of up to 3,000km. The second generation of Russian early warning radar is called Daryal (NATO reporting name Pechora). Voronezh radar is the current third generation with a range of 4,200km, lower energy consumption and less personnel required. A station of this kind can be deployed in 12 to 18 months as compared to five to nine years for Dnepr, thanks to module design.
The Dnepr early warning radar in Sevastopol was built in 1968 and was used to monitor the Black Sea, Southern and Central Europe and parts of the Middle East. After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was transferred to Ukrainian sovereignty and continued to provide data for the Russian military under lease. In 2009, Russia canceled the deal, which cost some $1.3 million annually, because its coverage could be substituted by a new Voronezh radar station in Russia's Armavir. Ukraine had since used the Sevastopol facility for its civilian space agency.
The station "Dnepr" was operated by Russia until 2009 under a lease agreement, under which Ukraine, which owned then this station, received up to $ 1.5 million annually. The station allowed to control the airspace at a range of up to four thousand kilometers. The radar has two wings, each of which has a two-sector horn antenna 250 meters long and 12 meters high. The station can scan with a viewing angle of 120 degrees in azimuth and 30 degrees in elevation.
In September 2009 Ukrainian national space agency Deputy General Director Eduard Kuznetsov said the agency will continue using an early-warning attack station based in Sevastopol, Crimea, but would close the Mukachevo facility following Moscow's decision to stop using it. Russia had terminated an agreement on the use of both radars (Sevastopol and Mukachevo) in February 2008 on the grounds that they are operationally obsolete. Kiev called Moscow's move unfriendly. The two radar facilities allowed Ukraine to track missile launches at a distance of up to 1,500 kilometers. Kiev had not ruled out that once the radars are no longer used by Russia that they could be used "in the interest of EU countries."
Russia’s Space Forces are to modernize and again use an old radar station in Sevastopol, Crimea, part of Russia's missile attack warning system until 2009. The station to be fully operational and providing data to the Russian military in 2016, Space Forces commander Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Golovko announced on 04 October 2014. He added that the station requires an upgrade of several engineering systems and brand new computer equipment.
The Space Forces will also have other new assets in the formerly Ukrainian region, which was seized by Russia in early 2014. Starting December 2014 the military service would deploy two communication stations in Sevastopol and Evpatoria, which “will provide a significant benefit to the control of the orbital constellation,” Golovko said.
The final decision on the restoration of a radar warning system (EWS), "Dnepr" in Sevastopol is still pending, General Director of Concern "RTI" Sergey Boev told TASS 17 May 2016. The newspaper "Izvestia", citing a source in the military-industrial complex, wrote that the Defense Ministry will restore the station of Sevastopol. According to the publication, the Crimea can build a station from scratch, than to insist the military, or to upgrade an existing "Dnepr". "The question is not completely solved, but we are familiar with the situation when the decision will be the main customer, we all do it in the set time frame." - Boev said.
The Russian Defense Ministry intended to modernize the above-horizon radar station "Dnepr" near Sevastopol, the Izvestia newspaper reports with reference to a source in the defense-industrial complex. As a result of the modernization, the station, built in 1979 and part of the missile attack warning system, will be able to track launches of ballistic and cruise missiles from the Black and Mediterranean seas. At that time, two options for upgrading stations are being considered. One of them presupposes the installation of equipment remaining on the warehouses after the construction of a similar facility near Irkutsk was stopped on the Dnieper. Another option involves the construction of a new centimeter radar station "Voronezh-S". Restoring the station near Sevastopol will increase the accuracy of the current Russian missile warning system, which consisted of the new Voronezh and the repaired Soviet radars.
There was no urgent need to restore and modernize the radar in the Crimea. In 2009, the radar station "Voronezh-DM", located near Armavir in the Krasnodar Territory, set up for combat duty. With the commissioning of this radar replaced the obsolete Soviet station "Dnepr" near Sevastopol and Ukrainian Mukachevo, as well as partially radar "Daryal" near the Azerbaijani city of Gabala.
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