A Voronezh early warning radar under construction in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
A Voronezh early warning radar under construction in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

Russia may vacate the site in northern Azerbaijan which houses its Daryal bi-static phased-array early warning radar.

The radar, which has a 6,000 kilometres (3,239 nautical miles) range, was originally constructed in the country to provide radar surveillance for the detection of missile launches from the Middle East, and from parts of India.

The radar, based at Gabala, has been the subject of a long-running dispute between Moscow and Baku over plans by the Azeri government to levy a significant increase on the annual rent which Russia pays to Azerbaijan to use the site. The country found itself with the Daryal radar following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

A Voice of Russia report on 2nd December said that; “Due to growing demands from Azerbaijan, Russia will soon have to leave the area.” This seems to contradict news which emerged in October that the two countries had reached an agreement for Russia to continue a short-term lease of the site at a fee which Moscow considered acceptable.

According to the Voice of Russia report, Captain Konstantin Sivkov, First Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Russia will induct a new Voronezh radar into operational service by March next year. The exact location of the Voronezh radar that will be declared operational was not revealed by Captain Sivkov. One system is known to be under construction in Irkutsk, central Russia, another is being built at Pechora in the Russian northwest, with Voronezh installations also being mooted for the Olenegorsk radar station in the Arctic Circle; Barnaul, Orenburg and Omsk, all in southern Russia; and Yeniseysk, central Russia.

Published by Thomas Withington

Thomas Withington is a writer and analyst specialising in electronic warfare, radar and military communications.

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