Kura Test Range

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Kura Test Range
Near Klyuchi in Russia
Coordinates 57.33, 161.83
Type ICBM test range
Site information
Operator Russian Aerospace Defence Forces (VKO)
Status operational
Site history
In use 1955 (1955)-present

Kura Test Range (Russian: Ракетный полигон Кура́), originally known as Kama, is a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile impact area located in northern Kamchatka Krai in the Russian Far East. It is the destination for ballistic missiles which are test fired from other centers, and was chosen due to its remoteness and distance. It is 130 kilometers (81 mi) northeast of the settlement of Klyuchi and the military townlet is called Klyuchi-1, after the nearest settlement. The center coordinates are 57°20′N 161°50′E / 57.333°N 161.833°E / 57.333; 161.833Coordinates: 57°20′N 161°50′E / 57.333°N 161.833°E / 57.333; 161.833.[1][2]

History[edit]

The range was developed beginning in 1955 and was operational in 1957.[2][3]

Although the range is a test site for intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are controlled by the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces, the range is administratively under Plesetsk Cosmodrome, and consequently is part of the Russian Aerospace Defence Forces.[4][5]

It continues to be active. The most recent impact was on 10:15 (06:15 GMT) on Wednesday 23 May 2012 when a new as yet unnamed ballistic missile designed to evade the US missile shield was tested. The missile was fired from a mobile launcher on the Plesetsk range. The warhead was delivered successfully to its designated area on the Kura range on Kamchatka.[6] A Bulava missile, launched from submarine Dimitri Donskoi, landed at Kura in October 2010.[7] Test launches of R-29RMU Sineva and RT-2UTTKh Topol M missiles also frequently target the Kura Test Range.

The United States maintained a permanent Eareckson Air Station (formerly Shemya Air Force Base) only 935 km (581 mi) away, equipped with radars and aircraft to monitor impacts at Kura. One of these radars, Cobra Dane, was fielded in 1977 at Shemya specifically for this purpose.[citation needed]

Some past military staff photos, antennas, optical and radio system photos, can be seen here [8] from diverse tracking stations from around the range.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Не каждая «Булава» долетит до середины Камчатки" [Not every Bulava will reach the middle of Kamchatka] (in Russian). Novaya Gazeta. 5 May 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Soviet Technical Capabilities in Guided Missiles and Space Vehicles, NIE 11-5-6, TOP SECRET, declassified 1996. Central Intelligence Agency. 1961. 
  3. ^ The Soviet ICBM Program, NIE 11-10-57, TOP SECRET, declassified 1995. Central Intelligence Agency. 1957. 
  4. ^ "Russia creates Air and Space Defense Forces". russianforces.org. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Structure". Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. undated. Retrieved 6 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Russia tests prototype of a new ICBM". russianforces.org. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Начальник Генштаба доложил Президенту об успешном пуске ракеты «Булава»" (in Russian). Kremlin.ru. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  8. ^ http://kik-sssr.narod.ru/O_Y_Kamchatka.htm