Russia deploys radar able to track military jets across whole of eastern Europe

A radar that is able to track targets at ranges of over 3,000 km has been activated within the Russian air defense system on Dec. 2, 2013.

The Kolkino radar station, using the first modernized 29B6 radar, is able to track aerial targets flying as far aways as Denmark. Earlier the radar had a research role only, and even if full operational capability is expected within 2 years, the new system is already keeping an eye on what flies west of the Russian border.

Another 29B6 radar should be installed in the far eastern Russian territories, achieving operational status in 2018.

The radar is made of 150 antenna masts, data transmission systems, transmitters and receivers, power station and control building. The peculiarity of the system is that it is able to detect both high altitude targets, such as ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles), as well as low altitude flying air traffic, at very long distances, well beyond the line of sight.

Based on the Russian claims reported by, any aircraft with a radar cross section comparable to the one of a Cessna light plane would be detected by the new radar, even if it is flying at low altitude. Even a fighter jet taking-off in the Netherlands could be seen by the new surveillance station!

Provided technical specifications will be confirmed, Russia will soon be able to monitor almost everything flying over eastern Europe, and beyond.


Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist


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About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.


  1. You should also mention that this is a long wavelength radar. So it is very likely able to monitor any stealth aircraft as well…

    • “Very likely able to monitor any stealth aircraft…”

      Uh huh. According to various highly qualified propaganda sources.

      • It is just simple physics. Any stealth aircraft is detectable by long wave-length radar. It is not some kind of news

        • Explained to us the actual physics then because just making this blanket statement alone doesn’t make sense if you knew anything about radio.

          There is no proof that long wave-length radar detects stealth to any degree that would make it an advantage. There is proof that Long wave-length radar is unreliable when it comes to details, unreliable in guiding missiles, inaccurate in locating small attack craft, easily foiled when it comes to countermeasures, easy to interfere with as it picks up everything from birds to ice particles and easy to target by tomahawks because the huge antennas can’t be shrunk down enough to make them mobile without serious signal degrade. Something your propaganda sources don’t tell you.
          I think what the Russians aren’t telling people is that this is more of an experiment on what they can and can’t pick up when stealths are buzzing around Europe.

      • Can you be anymore ignorant and troll like. Firstly decreases in RCS do not scale linearly with detection range from a radar of a given strength, Secondly the detection power of such an installation with over 150 antenna is vastly supperior to what they can fit on the front of a small fighter plane like the F22/pakfa and finally stealth does not = invisible.

        • “Stealth does not = Invisibility”

          No one says it does. But the capabilities of a radar is determined by the characteristics/size of its wave pattern and not just a given strength alone. A wave of 3m is going to not yield the accuracy of data of one that is 3 cm or 100 mm no matter how much strength you put into the signal. Stacking them in an effort to triangulate doesn’t necessarily overcome the natural shortfalls of Low Frequency radar. One of the common problems with commercial traffic control is the difficulty of S band to detect planes that are composite based which led to newer transponders becoming mandatory. Its the wave size that requires low freq. antennas to be very large…Too large to be mobile.

          Low freq. waves are great for ground penetration because they can reject small details and pickup large details like caverns, water supplies and oil deposits. Whether you like it or not, RCS and the absorbing materials used in stealth still affect even low frequency radar.

          • Ofcourse not, but some of these facilities are very large and very powerful, and some of the mobile systems with their folding radar systems are also fairly powerful.

            For all intensive purposes these facilities should be capable of locating, identifying (as in confirming it is not a civilian plane, nor one of your own), providing target information, and issuing Intercept missions to SAM and Fighters with a bearing, range, and estimation of location based on current velocity. They can then if needed provide updated course corrections, in real time, through AWACs, which are also capable of detecting planes at very large distances.

            There is boasting from most operators of such systems (china, russia, USA, Australia) that they can detect planes, and boats, and missiles (from the various types of radar installations they have), from significant distances away. The russians have boasted before, that they can tell (with modern electronics) when a plane takes off or lands in any airport in europe.

            Now given I admit that there is a difference between detecting a A380 and and a genuinely low RCS plane or ship, I admit that, but I would imagine the detection range on such things would still be fairly high given the extreme detection ranges and enormous power outputs of such systems, claimed by all operators. More than sufficient. You also need to admit that their will be sattelite reconaisance of many of the major airbases in europe for instance, by the russians, and in the far east, by the chinese.

            They are going to know when you launch an attack, the direction of the strike, and therefore probably the predicted targets, and they will cue a response. You think for instance that china and russia does not know at all times the location of every US Carrier group?

  2. “even if it is flying at low altitude. Even a fighter jet taking-off in
    the Netherlands could be seen by the new surveillance station!”

    That’s an Iranian level of bullshitty over-exaggeration.

    • this is some how amusing. seeing people so unacknowledged so ignorant consider themselves so sophisticated and above all. the radar is an OTH device, same radars provide backbone of us Anti-Cruise defense system. surprise surprise, iran has already aquired production license of one.
      and yeas there is no stealth in front of it nor any geographical cover to evade being observed by it

    • Similar claims have been made for the JORN in Australia, partly developed by LockMart. That would be equally “bullshitty”, then?

    • Probably, because like all their other ‘revolutionary, indigenous weapons’ it’s probably fake…. Infact from my understanding it is definitely fake. But there such systems that are that powerfull, the USA, Russia, China, Australia all claim to have them, the Americans have several, for different branches of the military (i.e. Naval and aerial).

      The UK also has some bases.

  3. Long wavelength radars give a theater wide coverage but theoretically they are not good for tracking precise positions and so guiding AA missiles and interceptors. So this looks like a nice technology as alert not precise enough for shooting down a stealth plane.

    Funny they have underlined that they can tracking anything bigger than a Cessna. They finally have the technology to make the Red Square safer to pedestrians:

    • You use that information to Cue intercepts by Interceptors-fighter planes, or at closer ranges by SAMs. Once you know its out there, and the location, bearing, speed and the fact that it isn’t on any expected comercial flight path, you can have a pretty good idea what it is.

      Then cue and intercept.

  4. Nato/western forces honing their skills and field-testing newly developed weaponry and systems in Iraq and Afghanistan, China et al going at it over some (insignificant?) islands, the Russians practicing attacks in Scandinavian airspace and now this? Does someone know something the rest of us don’t?

    • I think it’s simply because China’s economical strength has grown a lot in recent decades, and as such its military, leading them to be more “assertive” (to put it nicely) than they were. At the same time, Russia is finally getting over the collapse. As such, comparatively, the gap between these nations and the US has decreased on a number of fronts (military strength, economic strength, sphere of influence).

      Sadly, China attempts to translate this into gains at the cost of others. Russia seems to try a bit more subte about it, but is now more confident to at the very least protect its interests abroad, such as with Syria. All of this, of course, causes US interests to be under more pressure than the US is used to.

      This is all relative of course, but it’s changes in status quo that puts countries on edge the most.

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