Duga-3 "Woodpecker" Radar – Ivankivs'kyi district, Ukraine - Atlas Obscura
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Ivankivs'kyi district, Ukraine

Duga-3 "Woodpecker" Radar

This derelict superstructure was a very important warning system for the Russian military. 

Duga-3 is an enormous, now abandoned antenna system, built in the 1970s as part of a Soviet anti-ballistic missile early-warning network. 

It is a huge lattice mega-structure, 150 meters wide, 90 meters high, and 750 meters long. To man the radar system, a small secret city was built, in which 1,000 people lived. It broadcast a sharp tapping sound which earned it the nickname “Woodpecker,” and was such a powerful system that the sounds disrupted legitimate radio broadcasts and communications all over the world.

While many people worldwide had theories as to what was causing the noises, the source wasn’t confirmed until after the fall of the Soviet Union. The site at Chernobyl remained in operation after the Chernobyl disaster, but in 1987 most technical equipment was moved to a site at Komsomolsk na Amure.

Today the mega-structure is still there, just a few kilometers south of the infamous Chernobyl reactor. There are plans to install wind turbines on it.