Dudinka CHAYKA-Mast – Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Dudinka CHAYKA-Mast

Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District, Russia

Unused mast taller than every structure in the EU. 


Built during the Cold War for CHAYKA, a radio navigation system similar to LORAN-C in Northern Siberia, the Dudinka CHAYKA-Mast was formed with transmitters at Taymylyr, Inta and Pankratiev Island - the GRI 5960 chain.

The mast transmitted at precisely determined interval pulses on 100 kHz with 1,200 kW power, which were the signals used by the other transmitters in the chain. The low frequency combined with the immense power consumed by the mast and the large bandwidth required - 20 kHx for a 462-meter-tall mast, the second-tallest structure in the former Soviet Union surpassing every existing man-made structure in the European Union - resulted in a powerful product.

As opposed to similar LORAN-Masts, which were mast radiators electrically insulated, these masts were grounded and carried a rhombic cage antenna.

The enormous height of this mast was kept a secret for a long time in the area. After the Cold War-era vessel transport declined dramatically in North Siberia and so the CHAYKA-chain GRI 5960 became obsolete and was switched off. But the huge mast remained at Dudinka as a symbol of the Soviet Union’s power at the time of its construction.

The Dudinka mast was not the only huge mast built in Russia. At least one other mast of this height was built (are there others we never learned of?). It stood in Taymylyr, but it was demolished by explosives on September 24, 2009.

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April 25, 2011

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