9 A Pill Box One of the Most Top Secret Russian Object

A Pill Box One of the Most Top Secret Russian Object

Posted on May 12, 2017 by tim

This thing looks like it comes from Sci-Fi movies, or even straight out of Star Wars franchise. But it is not. What this building is and how is it being used we will see in this posting.

This thing is called DON-2 or “Pill Box” as NATO calls it. It’s a part of Moscow anti missile defence system.

What is it actually is a pyramid shaped unique radar system.

Inside this pyramid there are four unique active antennas built by Soviet engineers in early 1980s. It was a huge step up over normal “rotating” radars. They have a delay of one or two seconds needed for a full spin of an antenna. During this time enemy target can sneak unnoticed especially if it’s a high speed missile.

This radar is not rotating. Instead it has four huge antenna grids. Each consists of numerous smaller antennas. They all emit and receive signal at same time controlling one piece of sky without need of rotating. What differs them is a different phase of a wave. Before high speed computing era this technology was impossible.

For this purpose Soviet ELBRUS computers were used in 1980s. They still make a heart of this tracking system thirty something years later.


This is a workplace of Pill Box operators. In the middle is a chief of the station behind those ELBRUS monitors.

And this is a workplace of his assistants.


During a 1994 joint USA-Russian experiment when small metal spheres were dropped from Discovery shuttle  it was discovered that Pill Box “sees” objects as small as 5 cm diameter metal sphere.

This station can detect and track up to 100 targets at same time and point intercept on ground missiles onto them.



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9 Responses to “A Pill Box One of the Most Top Secret Russian Object”

  1. Gerard says:

    Awesome, I read about these pyramidal structures years ago, but it’s incredible to see the insides of one

  2. Jim Philopena says:

    No analog in the world? Google PAVE PAWS.

  3. timoulete76 says:

    Look like Stalker’s labotaries but bigger !

  4. rostit says:

    There is a phased array radar in the USA. Cape Cod AFS for instance. This pillbox is not a unique item.

  5. Mike says:

    No paint available? Looks ancient, those phones and monitors are like something from 30 years ago. Does it even work?

  6. CK says:

    We have one of those!! It’s called “Nixon’s Pyramid”. Google it! :D

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