UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Zhangiz Tobe
4909'N 8104'E

At START I entry into force (EIF), the Russians declared two ICBM bases in Kazakstan with a total of 104 SS 18 heavy ICBM silos and sixty-nine deployed SS 18 ICBMs; fifty-three at Derzhavinsk, with thirty-one deployed ICBMs; and fifty-two silos at Zhangiz Tobe, with thirty-eight deployed ICBMs.

In accordance with an agreement dated 13 Dec 93 as amended 1 Jul 95, between the Department of Defense (DoD) of the United States and the Ministry of Defense (MoD) of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Defense Special Weapons Agency (DSWA) competitively awarded a firm-fixed-price contract for Phase II (the dismantlement) of Unified Fill Facilities (UFF) and Nuclear Weapons Storage Areas (NWSA) located in Kazakhstan. Locations of the two UFFs are the SS-18 ICBM bases at Derzhavinsk and Zhangis-Tobe, and locations of the NWSAs are Derzhavinsk, Zhangis-Tobe, and Chagian-Aerodome, and also incineration of liquid propellants stored at Sary Ozek. Tasks include neutralization and dismantlement of the UFFs, decontamination and deactivation of the NWSA.

In February 1996 a joint venture including ABB, the international electrical engineering company, has received a historic contract to demolish missile silos in the Republic of Kazakstan which previously housed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) of the former Soviet Union. The three-year, US$ 31 million contract was awarded by the US Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) to the 50/50 joint venture comprising ABB and Brown & Root, a division of Halliburton Company of the USA. The project is funded under the Strategic Offensive Arms Elimination (SOAE) program, which is part of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program. CTR assistance to Kazakstan, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus helps these countries dismantle weapons systems and deal with related problems. SOAE assistance helps Kazakstan meet the terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1) to eliminate SS-18 ICBM silos and launch control facilities. With the nuclear missiles already returned to Russia, the joint venture eliminated 148 launch, control, testing and training silos at four missile fields in Kazakstan - Zhangis-Tobe, Derzhavinsk, Balapan and Leninsk. The project includes the elimination of the ICBM silos and launch control complexes, the salvage and disposal of all equipment and materials, the environmental clean-up of the sites and preparation for their return to civilian use.

The SS-18 ICBM silos and associated structures in the Republic of Kazakhstan, at the Leninsk, Derzhavinsk, and Zhangiz Tobe missile bases, and the test silos at Balapan, were dismantled under the provisions of the START I treaty of 1991. Upon abandoning the bases, the Russian military destroyed the silos with explosives. The blasts destroyed the headworks structure, and left craters 6 meters deep and up to 25 meters across at each silo.

In dismantling the sites, the remaining above ground and near-surface structures were demolished, with the rubble pushed into the empty silo tubes or adjacent pits. A reinforced concrete cap was placed over the filled silo tube. Additional building rubble was then pushed into the crater, over the cap. The rubble was covered with clean earth and topsoil. Metal and concrete were salvaged for recycling or for use in the surrounding communities. Once a site was cleared of all structures, it was graded to match the topography of the surrounding countryside. The reclamation process was completed by the acceptance of a finished site by the local, regional and state authorities. These authorities may then sell or rent the land to the local community, who will use the land for farming or pasture.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:49:52 ZULU