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P-3 “Dumbo”

Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics

Figure 1: The mobile P3M- sersion, (Antenna left)

frequency: VHF–Band
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF):
pulsewidth (τ):
receiving time:
dead time:
peak power: 55 kW
average power:
instrumented range: 120 km
range resolution: 2.5 km
beamwidth: 24°
hits per scan:
antenna rotation:

P-3 “Dumbo”

The first Soviet radar unit to the determination of 3 coordinates was built approximately end of the World War II. The radar station was called “Pegmantit 3” - or abbreviated for P 3. There were two modifications: a mobile (P-3M) and a fixed site (P-3A) version. The mobile version was built in containers on two trucks. The transmitter and and the receiving system were put in a separate container. The display still was an A-scope.

If the display is an A-scope only, this radar cannot rotate quickly. It has to be assumed that the turn was manually carried out (like a direction findig equipment by radio-monitoring). Otherwise the given accuracy in azimuth isn't concurring with the poor antenna gain of a single pair of Yagi-antennas to be expected.

The elevation angle was determined with a so-called Goniometer. With a nomograph the elevation angle could be converted to a height value depending of measured range.


Source: G. Nitschke, K.-H. Lau, “Von der visuellen Luftraumbeobachtung zur elektronischen Luftraumaufklärung”
in: “Militärwesen” 7/72 - Ausgabe B (Luftstreitkräfte) Militärverlag der DDR


Figure 2: An artists impression of the fixed site P3A-version