By 01 January 2007 there were only 9 operational SS-25s and 1 non-deployed launcher at this location, and none a year later.
The Yurya ICBM Complex is in the eastern part of the Forest Zone, in the Kirov Oblast, of the European USSR. The complex support facility is on the northeast side of Yurya, a village on the Kirov-Kotlas railline about 30 nm north of Kirov. This complex was the largest of the Soviet ICBM complexes prior to the deployment of Type IIIC and IIID single silos, and one of the earliest to be constructed.
The rail-to-road transfer point lies about 9.0 nm northeast of the complex support facility, about midway in the band of launch sites that extends approximately 28 nm in a northwest-south-east direction. The complex contained 2 Type IIA, 3 Type IIB, 3 Type IID,and 3 Type IIIA launch sites.
The heavily forested terrain in the region is lightly rolling and inter-spersed with numerous small drains with steep banks. Drainage is predominantly south, toward the Volga river. Elevations within the complex range from about 500 to 700 feet, with relative relief in the vicinity of individual launch sites about 50 feet. The heavy forestation in the region provides an important source of timber, and logging is one of the chief industries of the numerous towns and villages scattered throughout the area. Much of the cleared land is under cultivation, and grain is an important agricultural crop.
In this part of the Forest Zone that includes the Yurya Complex, the characteristic weather is cloudy. Winters are cold with frequent snowfall, andsummers are moderately warm with light breezes, recurring cold spells, and frequent fogs. Average temperatures during the 4 warmest months vary between 45°F and 68°F. Temperature extremes for the 12-month period vary from 92°F to -43°F. In general, precipitation falls every second or third day in all seasons. The weather varies considerably from year to year, and sudden intrusions of Arctic air may cause drastic temperature drops at any time.
Snowcover usually persists from about the beginning of November to the end of April. The general spring thaw creates serious transportation problems. Most roads become impassable, and areas with poor drainage are reduced to seas of soft mud. The thawing upper layer of soil, in snow-free areas, becomes waterlogged while deeper layers remain frozen. Roads are generally worse than open areas because the compacted and polluted snow thaws slowly while, the snowbanks alongside serve to increase the amount of water to be carried away.
The complex support facility and rail-to-road transfer point are both servedby a spur from the main rail line through Yurya. A network of local roads joins the various towns and villages throughout the area but few, if any, are first class roads. Within the complex, all-weather roads joining the various launch sites and other complex facilities were apparent concurrent with site construction.
Yurya was one of the first deployed ICBM complexes to be identified in the Soviet Union. Activity has always been apparent at this complex. Missile exercises were often observed at the various launch sites. On one occasion, in the middle of winter, 4 missiles weere observed at Launch Site 7. Snow is always cleared from the roads and launch pads.
The support facilities appeared to be adequate for additional launch facilities and there was ample room for expansion, although most of it would require clearing timber for roads and launch areas. The size and appearance of the support facilities gave an impression of permanence that would indicate that the Soviets intended that this complex remain active for a substantial period of time. This would infer that they either did not intend to phase out the SS-7 missile system in the foreseeable future, or that they expected to deploy a follow-on missile system at this complex. A follow-on system could be deployed here while retaining the SS-7 system. This would follow the precedent established by the deployment of Type IIID sites for the SS-11 missile at many complexes which were originally constructed for deployment of the SS-7 missile system.
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