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Report - Croatia -Željava airbase and radar station

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by benkar, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. benkar

    benkar 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    There's a report from the same place somewhere here on 28dl, but I think you can handle a new topic... :eek: (I think the old report is an Archived Report)

    The entire visit/gallery, almost 100 images, is HERE:

    The Air Base
    The construction of "Object 505", better known as Željava or Bihać airbase, was started in 1957 and the facility was completed in 1965, in former Yugoslavia. Today is Željava airbase on the border of present Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The air base have large underground hangars that are among the largest in Europe. Total length of the tunnels appear to be at least 2000 meters.

    The Air base was strategically located, in addition to several runways, the underground hangar for storage and maintenance of aircraft and a large command center inside the mountain, a regimental area for administration, with barracks, cinema and workshops, they also had a radar on Mount Plješivica covering large parts of Yugoslavia's airspace.

    At the air base the "117th Regiment Fighting Aviation" was based, it consisted of 3 squadrons of MiG-21, two squadrons of fighter and a reconnaissance squadron. In war situation was manning between 80-120 MiG21, 200 pilots, 1,000 guards and administrative staff and 500 technicians and weapons techniques. The mountain site did have a separate source of water, generators, and there was food, fuel and ammunition that would last for 30 days even if the base was cordoned off from the outside world.

    The Air Base was used intensively during the Croatian war of independence in early 1991. When the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) withdrew as mountain hangars were destroyed by filling the tunnels with explosives and kerosene, and burn it ...... Rumour has it that there were ethnic Croats in the JNA who did this, but what really happened is very unclear. To prevent a possible future use of the facility, JNA, 1992 an additional burst, now with 56 tons of explosives. The explosion was so powerful that the nearby town Bihać shook violently. It is said that there was smoke from the tunnel openings for six months after the explosion.

    Radar Station Plješivica
    But, now we go further up the mountain Plješivica/Mount Gola, 1648 meters above sea level, where there was a radar station and communications center. The primary radar was a British Marconi S-600 which had 400-600 kilometer range, which would be sufficient to control the skies in many parts of Yugoslavia, as well as Italy, Austria and Hungary. Besides the Marconi radar did tehy have a S-613 altimetry radar and also weather radar. Plješivica radar station and communications center was the hub of the Yugoslavia's air defenses.

    During the Croatian War of Independence was the front line at the air base, a little hard to grasp it all, but in 1992 it seems that the Serbian forces held Mount Gola, while Bosnian forces held the area at the air base below. 1995, the Croatian forces started Operation Storm, which was to take the areas that were besieged by the Serbs, with the result that the UN finally got tired of the war and forced the Dayton Peace Agreement (The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the peace agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Yugoslavia, which brought an end to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

    This in turn led to a NATO-led implementation force (IFOR first, then SFOR) IFOR / SFOR needed a place to have your own radar surveillance, and the choice fell on Mount Gola. It took several months for the British and Canadian mine sweepers to clear the main surfaces of the rock from the mines, and even today much of the area is not cleared of mines and abandoned munitions/explosives. Myth /rumors say that there should be mined / blown off stairways and tunnels that lead down to the hangars, but to my ears it sounds unlikely.

    In the years after 1995, British and Canadian personnel, five people at a time, residents on the mountain, where they took care of radar and communications, which you can see clear traces of. Do not know how long it lasted, but today is the rock garden, and often very foggy ...

    Summary
    My visit (and photographs) on Željava airbase and Mount Gola is on three different occasions during 2010-2011. It has been extremely exciting and interesting. Everything from being terrified of mines, to a "regular car" climb the mountain Plješivica over extremely bad roads, to be close to stepping on shells in a cavern in Mount Gola, the outside Željava mountain hangars told the Croatian military what I / we were doing there. I feel quite satisfied now, but even so it gnaws on the head, it would be fun to go there again.... :crazy

    NOTE: IMPORTANT-READ THIS!
    If you intend to visit the facilities, be aware that mountain hangars located in a military area and also in the border zone between Croatia and Bosnia. There is a risk that you will meet Croatian military or border police (MUP), and what happens if you get caught at the site, seems to vary from occasion to occasion and to distinguish between military and border police.

    The area around the air base is also heavily mined, walk only on concrete and asphalt surfaces. Inside the mountain there is collapse and further into the air feels not very nice. Use proper respiratory protection and helmet. Recommendations I've seen on other sites say that you should not go more than 100 feet into the mountain.

    As for the radar station on Plješivica/Mount Gola, the road is really bad, and the area/areas of the plant is apparently not cleared of mines and we found grenades. Be careful!

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    The entire visit/gallery, almost 100 images, is HERE:

    /B
     

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