69 “Duga”, the Steel Giant Near Chernobyl

“Duga”, the Steel Giant Near Chernobyl

Posted on April 28, 2008 by

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When someone goes to Chernobyl he often misses one thing that could be of big interest and is located just a few miles away from the exploded nuclear power plant.
This one is one of the three alike built by Russian army in Russia during the iron curtain times. It was used for some of their military purposes but as you can see is abandoned now.

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69 Responses to ““Duga”, the Steel Giant Near Chernobyl”

  1. Cross Eyed Seagull says:

    Wtf??? You could base jump off this thing!

  2. [...] found here at English Russia, but a much better bit is here at With Varying Frequency, an amateur radio site. [...]

  3. Bubbles says:

    But what’s it for! To catch superman?

  4. Vlad says:

    It was an early warning system for nuclear missiles: Russian Woodpecker.

  5. VoDkA says:

    It is a giant heater coil in failed attempt to make Russia warmer. Chernobyl was simular, but was a practice in nuclear heating.

  6. hardscarf says:

    From the two links mentioned above:

    “There were three of these huge arrays built, and they were used for spotting ICBM launches half a world away.” (in America I guess)

    “The Soviets built three systems, one located in each of Nikolayev in the Ukraine, Chernigov in the Ukraine, and Komsomolsk-na-Amure in Asiatic Russia.[...] For reference the scale of these arrays are massive – this one has a receiving array 450 feet (135 meters) high and 1000 ft (300 meters) long with a transmitting array is 280 feet (85 meters) high and 690 feet (210 meters) long.”

    Those bloody Americans. They created nice monuments of metal even without knowing it.

  7. Claudio says:

    I think this is the Woodpecker, a radar system from the Cold War times.

    • dingo says:

      I think it belongs to the wood pecker, and it is presumible to be part of the vectorial array wave generator.

  8. Hemppa says:

    I don’t know which is scarier: the thing itself, or that someone climbed up there to take pictures.

  9. Karl says:

    Can it possibly be an array of some kind of soviet HAARP system?

    It certainly looks like…


  10. apotheosis says:

    C’mon, any good Stalker should recognize the Brain Scorcher. :D

  11. Chris says:

    I think this is why people started lining their hats with Aluminum foil.

    I have never found a single picture of the receiving antenna 60 km away, not even a description.

  12. Kris says:

    Cool, thanks for posting these!

  13. jim says:

    Yep- it’s the woodpecker. Over the Horizon radar that sounded like a helicopter on shortwave. It could reach all the way around the planet.

  14. Lenin says:

    Wow, this thing is pure bad ass!

  15. Elli says:

    It is a giant heater coil in failed attempt to make Russia warmer. Chernobyl was simular, but was a practice in nuclear heating.

  16. [...] Englishrussia ist vor kurzem ein Artikel mit vielen weiteren Bildern zum Thema aufgetaucht, den ich hier natürlich auch erwähnen [...]

  17. Zack says:

    Wikipedia has a good article on this listed under Russian Woodpecker.

  18. dingo says:

    it is part of woodpecker and vectorial wave array generator

  19. [...] A unos cuantos kilometros de Chernobyl, se encuentra este enorme receptor que se utilizaba para captar transmisiones enemigas. LINK [...]

  20. Mr.Tinkles says:

    This is the real iron curtain.Or just a fly-catcher(those people REALLY hate flies)

  21. Rhonan says:

    Interesting, I remember hearing that thing back in the day. I’ve been in amateur radio since ’76, and the “woodpecker” was one of the stranger things on the airwaves. It is a phased-array of dipole antennas, a pair of the pointed basket things being one dipole. The framework behind them functioned as a reflector, making it very directional.

  22. Mike Land says:

    Reminds me of something I tried in the 80’s at a local softball field. I used the backstop as a reflector and positioned a vertical in front at various locations to direct the beam. If the whole thing had rotated, I would have kept it as it had a rather high gain.
    I would love to visit this site. I wonder what the minimum loading input power would be. Would you charge each array with a separate amp? TV transmitters use separate amps for each element on the tower. Most have 3 separate amplifier circuits. The last one I worked at had 4. It had 4 separate amps each rated at 40,000 watts each that fed 4 elements on the top of the tower.
    This site is great. Thanks to whoever climbed up and got these photos. You are the bomb!!!!

  23. Bilosh says:

    I have one of these behind my dacha. It very useful for ridding home of mice. Also for depopulating neighboring village.

  24. [...] Giant Military Training Structure outside of Chernobyl [...]

  25. Stephen says:

    Forget HAARP, Tetra Airwave is the new danger and thread to mankind!

  26. Autoguy says:

    Over 100 years ago, Nicola Tesla experimented with his method of wireless electrical power transmission in North America. His method involved circling the globe with a low frequency energy wave in the ionosphere that would race around the entire planet. When the mysterious woodpecker signal appeared in 1976, one of the speculations was that this signal came from an attempt to recreate Tesla’s experiments.

  27. ST says:

    This thing was built to control peoples minds(play S.T.A.L.K.E.R)

  28. Vova says:

    I suppose those walls was used for “enemy’s” radiowaves suppression.

  29. El_Greco says:

    Its Huge!

  30. Илья says:

    Ох люди… что ж вы потом думаете о русских, после всяких таких статей? :(

    • Eddy says:

      I will visit the Chernobyl reactor and the area on May 21st 2009 . I would love to visit the Ruga-3 area also ( in the same trip, or return next day ? ) .

      Anybody in russia who can get permission and a driver out of Kiev ?

      Best, Eddy

  31. [...] next pic is from English Russia, “Duga: The Steel Giant Near Chernobyl,” (definitely worth checking out, lots more pictures there) – to give some sense of the scale of [...]

  32. gydrolog says:

    Do you have any idea why the pieces of the attennae have such strange shapes ? Must have to do with some advanced electromagnetic theory. Actually a week ago I was in Odessa and on top of a buildig (a marine dept or something) I saw also a very strange-shaped antenna that also had these “pencil tip positioned against each other” thingies. Any idea ?

    • Shep says:

      Could just be to do with its frequency range. To be honest, looking at the size of it, I’d guess it was HF. BUT. UHF aerials tend to come in the strangest shapes and sizes….

  33. [...] Gigantische morbide Bauten bei den Sowjets: Funkstation? Lauschangriff? [...]

  34. Jimmy says:

    High steel!

  35. Cigarettes says:

    Maybe this is a big radar?

  36. Fred says:

    HF Over the horizon radar… “the Russian Woodpecker” (named for what it sounded like on short wave)

  37. Stefan says:

    SOMEBODY really wanted to get the Playboy TV channel really badly!

  38. Yulia says:

    The Woodpecker! So crazy. Bane of short-wave radios everywhere from 76 to 89.

  39. me says:

    I just want to plug in my Icom 706 mk 2 G to this 40 meter (7 mhz) array and call CQ on 40 meters…. where the pl259?

  40. Layla says:

    Hey, great, this is good stuff, keep up the good work.Cheers

  41. Been looking for this type of information. Everything I’ve read anywhere else hasn’t covered it very well, but your post did. Thanks…

  42. Lothers says:

    I have to climb it up myself, I’m from Poland so I can go there at ease, and I will! Awesome “thing”!

  43. Random Dude says:

    It’s a russian HAARP!
    The chernobyl-explosion happened because of this thing!
    Do your own research!

    Milton William Cooper R.I.P.

  44. Random Dude says:

    It’s a russian HAARP!
    The chernobyl-explosion happened beacause of this thing!
    Why they needed so much energy? Think abaout it!
    Do your own research!

  45. Random Dude says:

    And yea… Haarp can change your mind! It’s not only in STALKER!

  46. bill says:

    it is an over the horizon radar system.a cold war relic. similar arrays were in north america. they are as i recall directional so it is aimed at where they thought a missile attack would come from.
    as other posters have noted, it interfered with sw
    very cool pictures. thanks

  47. Foogssiznes says:

    Видео клипы онлайн бесплатно без регистрации

  48. [...] next pic is from English Russia, “Duga: The Steel Giant Near Chernobyl,” (definitely worth checking out, lots more pictures there) – to give some sense of the [...]

  49. [...] next pic is from English Russia, “Duga: The Steel Giant Near Chernobyl,” (definitely worth checking out, lots more pictures there) – to give some sense of the [...]

  50. a-ha says:

    And that structure required painting, can you imagine painting that whole stuff

  51. sohappy says:

    Thanks good article and useful. Have a good article like this forever.

  52. womenssanuks says:

    Most surely i’ll book mark all actual.

  53. Re the question ‘why the shape of dipoles?’ —
    To broaden the frequency of resonance. If the same antenna were used as both transmitting and receiving, an incoming reflected wave might be several Hz higher due to doppler effect. If you wish to experiment, try using cones instead of straight dipoles. As for why rods in a cone shape think in terms of a 100-mph wind wrestling with a bedspring this size think of reducing that 100-mph effect by a third or more with a bundle of rods in cone shape instead of a solid cone or even ice-cream-cones of aluminum.

  54. USSR says:

    Great…Just saw this radar in a Hollywood movie “Divergent” as a post apocalyptic set. Also was featured in a Ellie Goulding “Broken Heart” music video from the same movie.

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