Exploring Abandoned Repair Technical Base of Soviet Air Defense Forces

ABANDONED SPACES
Exploring an Abandoned Repair Technical Base of Soviet Air Defense Forces.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

The photos were taken by the Comdig Urban Exploration. They are photographers and urban explorers based in Russia. The Comdig has been documenting urban decay, industrial abandonments, and rural decomposition since 2010.

Initially, that military base was planned as a repair and technical base of the Soviet DAL air defense complex, which was never put into service. After passing through the territory of about 300-500 meters, we run into an old and long-destroyed hangar. Near it lie the old rocket tubes and their bows, which are covered with snow.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

The firing positions of this complex were even built, and not far from the very technical base of the air defense. Exploring an abandoned base, we find ourselves at another perimeter, behind which we notice a huge number of KUNG vehicles covered with snow (The KUNG is a Soviet then Russian term for a standardized military vehicle module/trailer system).

KUNGs are manufactured for installation on the chassis of GAZ-63, ZIL-157, GAZ-66, ZIL-131, KAMAZ-4310, Ural-375, Ural-4320. Versions for different vehicles are standardized with the same type of items and equipment.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

Urban explorers found abandoned radars used for the detection of aircraft. The wheels were removed, and the truck bodies were almost completely stolen.

Probably those were ST-68U — Soviet mobile three-coordinate radar stations of the decimeter range of combat mode (Tin Shield according to NATO classification). Designed for detecting and tracking low-altitude targets in active and passive interference in the presence of intense reflections from the ground and in adverse weather conditions.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

Group looked into the back of one of the military radar trailers. Probably, there were power supply systems and equipment racks.

For transportation of ST-68U radar system, the KrAZ-255 or KrAZ-260 trucks were used, the station could be deployed / collapsed within an hour and a half. The upgraded version of ST-68UM — 35D6, had improved detection parameters. In addition, in this version, the antenna could be installed on the 40V6M tower. Estimated deployment time — 2 hours.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

The number of military radar trailers, of course, was simply amazing — in total urban explorers counted about twenty of them in one place!

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

It was noticeable that the military radar systems were not just dismantled, but also plundered, as evidenced by a cart forgotten by someone, standing near one of the former radars.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

Several caps from tubes, in which missiles were previously stored and transported, are lying in the snow next to the bodies of the radar station. Urban explorers told that they have seen similar corps at the C-25 Berkut.

The S-25 Berkut was a surface-to-air guided missile, the first operational SAM system in the Soviet Union. In the early 1950s it was tested at Kapustin Yar. It was deployed in several rings around Moscow starting in 1955 and became combat ready in June 1956. It was used only defensively at Moscow; the more mobile S-75 (SA-2 Guideline) would be used in almost all other locations. Several improvements were introduced over its long service lifetime, and the system was finally replaced by the S-300P in 1982.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

After exploring abandoned military radar systems, the group walked back on the road. The part of the road was divided into several zones, each had its own perimeter and gate. All the gates were wide open, so the group freely came inside.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

This building was quite interesting. In fact, this was a hangar, sprinkled with earth and grass on top. It was intended for long-term storage and maintenance of missiles and mobile anti-aircraft systems. In general, the structure was quite typical, but very interesting — after all, in such an excellent condition, with pressurized doors and a crane beam, such was almost impossible to find. Usually, all-metal structures have long been stolen for scrap metal.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

After examining the hangar and taking a few more pictures, group decided to move towards the exit. Of course, these were not all the interesting findings that they managed to find in that abandoned military base, so hopefully urban explorers will tell us about them next time.

Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

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Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.
Photo: Comdig https://zen.yandex.ru/comdig CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.

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Gregory Hooqe

Expert on Urban Planning and Abandoned Places

Mr. Gregory Hooqe is a highly experienced expert on Urban Planning and Sustainable Development. Mr. Gregory Hooqe has been focusing on Urban Development since 2000 and has written extensively on the subject.
He was awarded the 2009 Korea Foundation Professional Award for his research on Korean Smart Cities, as well as the 2016 Korea Development Institute, Global Ambassador Award for SD and Innovation
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