The end of the fifties was marked by the threat of a nuclear invasion of the USSR by the United States. Regarding this, the USSR made active attempts in order to find a technology for premature detection of missile launch. The scanning range was supposed to be at least three thousand kilometers. In 1947, N.I. Kabanov put forward the theory of reflection of radio waves from the ionosphere of the Earth. Unfortunately, there was no technical opportunity to confirm this, so the "Veer" research project was stopped.
Work was resumed ten years later. Efim Shtyren with a team of like-minded people were able to prove the possibility of early warning theoretically (within 3-9 thousand kilometers). The report on the Research Institute "Duga" was provided on January 1, 1961. The calculation results and supporting experiments were recorded. On November 15, 1962, a decree on the creation of structures for horizontal radars of the Duga system was signed.
In 1975, it was decided to create a Duga-1 radar station near the city of Chernobyl. A year later, the main unit of the ZGRLS Chernobyl-2 was mounted. Construction was carried out at the same time with nuclear power plant. It provided the possibility to hide the supply of a huge amount of materials and equipment. On all topographic maps, the Chernobyl-2 facility was listed as a pioneer camp.
In 1983, the system was first launched. While radio broadcast, the interference emitted a certain sound, similar to a rhythmic knock. Because of these characteristic sounds, the United States called the interference "Russian Woodpecker." Taking into consideration absolute secrecy, the West didn't manage to determine the exact purpose of the interference. Various theories have been put forward, up to the zombie consciousness of American citizens by Soviet scientists.
Work on the project has shown many new opportunities and allowed to secure the contaminated area.
Officially, the authorities confirmed the existence of the ZGRLS facility and the Chernobyl-2 service complex only after the Chernobyl explosion. Until then, the United States were only speculating about the existence of such a structure. From 1983 until the evacuation of the station, more than a hundred launches of ballistic and even space missiles in North America were discovered.