30 August 2014

Russian Navy (M32a/RNv)

This short text does not claim to be complete or exact, it is just an attempt to collect and consolidate sparse notes about the Rus Navy way to Morse. I did examined my own logs, browse some Navy and Defense websites, mainly from Russia, N&O columns / Spooks newsletters, public available sources and public sites/forums on the web (later reported). You have to know that this document is always-under-construction and may be outdated, incomplete or even wrong.Comments are welcome.

The Russian Navy (Voenno-Morskoj Flot Rossii, lit. Military-Maritime Fleet of the Russian Federation) is the naval arm of the Russian military. The present Russian Navy was formed in January 1992, succeeding the Navy of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which had itself succeeded the Soviet Navy following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

Russian Navy is now probably the last fleet of the world that uses on such a large scale CW. Russians know that not everything can be converted into dollars in the pursuit of modernity and profit, and traditional communication systems such as Telegraphy still have their good sides, like simplicity, reliability, resistance to interference, and finally tradition.
 The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces, and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla other than the Naval Aviation, and the coastal troops (consisting of the naval infantry and the coastal missile and artillery troops.

The Northern Fleet is armed with nuclear-powered and torpedo submarines, missile-carrying and anti-submarine aircrafts as well as rocket-powered, aircraft-carriers and anti-submarine ships. It established as a modern formation in 1933, is headquartered at Severomorsk and spread around various bases in the greater Murmansk area. This is the main fleet of the Russian Navy. 

The Russian Pacific Ocean Fleet, established on 10 May 1731 and headquartered in Vladivostok, is another operational-strategic unit of the Russian Navy. In order to fulfill its military missions, the Pacific Ocean Fleet is armed with strategic rocket-powered submarine cruisers, multipurpose nuclear-powered and diesel submarines, surface ships for ocean and sea-zone maneuvers, marine rocket-carrying/anti-submarine and fighting aircrafts along with land forces and some land forces and coastal defense divisions.
The Black Sea Fleet ( BSF) is an operational-strategic association of the Navy of Russia in the Black Sea with the main base situated in Sevastopol. The Russian Black Sea Fleet, as a part of the Navy, is a means of ensuring Russia's military security in the south. To perform the tasks the Black Sea Fleet has in its composition diesel-driven submarines, surface ships for operations in oceanic and near-sea areas, naval missile-carrying aviation, anti-submarine and fighter aviation, units of coastal troops.
Currently, the main tasks of Russian Black Sea Fleet are as follows:
- Protection of the economic zone and areas of productive activities, suppression of illegal productive activities;
- ensuring safety of navigation;
- implementation of foreign policy actions of the Government in economically important areas of the oceans (visits, routine entries, joint exercises, actions as a part of peacekeeping forces, etc.)

The Baltic Fleet is an operational-strategic unit of the Russian Navy at the Baltic Sea. Main bases are Baltiysk (Kaliningrad region) and Kronshtadt (Leningrad region). They consist of surface ships division, diesel submarines brigade, service boats and search-and-rescue ships formations, the Air forces, coastal defense troops, rear technical and special security units.

The Caspian Flotilla, established on 4 November 1722, is based in Astrakhan and Makhachkala with its headquarters in Astrakhan.

(reported) CW frequencies 
(The main frequencies in use are 8345.0 kHz and 12464.0 kHz, although there are hundreds listed that have been used by the Russian Navy. They are all in CW)
583 3192 3338.5 4048 4079 4376.5 4478 4851 5019 5135.5 5213 5224 5343 5400.5 5775
6308 6345 6769 6827 6948 7015 7467 7566 7632 7664 7749 7763 7861 8136 8345 8816 8794
9068.5 9069.5 9145 9192 9373 9988 10203 10543 11000 11155 12464 13044 13636 13975
14556 15812 17468 17615 19201 19304 21438

(known) Callsigns:
RIW Navy Headquarters, Moscow 
Headquarters in Moscow is a very active station maintaining liaison with ships of all fleets, often at great distances from the so-called 'Dalnymi pohodami' or Russian naval expeditions to distant sea, and squadrons. 
HQ Moscow uses multiple broadcasting centers around Moscow, hence uses many callsigns, RIW is most commonly used, but they are also characters such as RAA (perhaps it is the commander's call sign WMF, or main headquarters WMF), and often RJE56 - it is broadcasting center in Manikinie near Moscow. Sign RJE56 is used only when XQ or communication between stations on land specifically allocated for this purpose frequencies. In the past, were also used in other characters, such as RMR

- Northern Fleet
RIT  Severomorsk, Northern Fleet Headquarter
RJD56 Murmansk, Naval Base
RJD99 Severodvinsk,  Naval Base

RIT main frequency 11155.0

- Baltic Fleet
RMP Kaliningrad, Baltic Fleet Headquarter
RJC66 ST. Petersbourg, Comm. Center
RJD69 Baltiysk, Naval Base
RJD85 Kronstadt, Naval Base

- Black Sea Fleet
RCV Sevastopol,
Black Sea Fleet  Heardquarter
RJE65 Istanbul, Naval Base

- Caspian Flotilla
RKN Astrakhan, Caspian Flotilla Heardquarter
RJD52 Caspiysk, Naval base

- Pacific Fleet
RJS Vladivostok, Pacific Fleet Heardquarter
RCC Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy, Naval Base
RTS  Magadan, Naval Base (mostly abandoned)
Frequencies of RJS: 4048, 10203, 13636, 7632 kHz

some other known stations
RAB99 KHABAROVSK (Vladimirovka)

Notes: (Derived from Fritz’ excellent website at http://www.astrosol.ch/index.html) 
  • RIW is a function, not a location. There is evidence the RIW operators use several callsigns from the same desk. In certain cases RIW becomes RJE56. In normal traffic with any ship RIW suddenly becomes RAA for an hour just to continue as RIW again.
  •  RIT uses the collective callsigns RLO, RKZ, RKS and others for its fleet or for a certain task force.
  • RMP uses the collective callsigns REO, RMU, RKZ and others for its fleet or for a certain task force.
  • RCV uses the collective callsigns RKZ, RKS, RJV, RIP90, RBE86, RGX94 and others for its fleet or for a certain task force.
(known) Callsigns used by the ships
I recently found a good site by Tony Roper (planesandstuff) reporting an updated list of Russian Navy Callsigns that have been picked up on HF over the last few years. Where callsigns have been positively tied up to certain ships or stations, this is also shown.  
As Tony says, "it's an incomplete list and will be updated as new callsigns are picked up" anyway that's a good work and it is a list of great help for listeners who love that branch of HF trasmissions.The callsigns address is: http://planesandstuff.wordpress.com/russian-navy-callsigns/
 Quite a few ships have been tied up to the callsigns through their reports. This is achieved from the Russian Navy themselves as they publish news items everyday on the internet, especially when ships arrive at certain locations. I'd suggest also the use of a few other websites including Shipspotting.com and Bosphorus Navy News

--> Read more info about the Morse used by Russian Navy

ships tracking (listening to ships weather reports)

Russian Navy ships send weather reports every 6 hours for their current location. They use the standard observation method as described by NOAA in their observation handbook, and within this message format there is a Lat/Long position report for where the observation took place. This means you are able to track their positions.
Ships positition can be derived from the Code FM-13-X-SHIP (or shortly FM-13), the ships synoptic code. It is comprised of 23 groups of symbolic letters representing meteorological and oceanographic elements, report identification and ship location data.

- Ship current position is coded in the Ships Synoptic Code Section 0:
... 99LaLaLa QcLoLoLoLo

99, Data on Position Follow.
LaLaLa, Latitude in degrees and tenths of a degree.Always coded with three digits, the first two digits are actual degrees, the last digit for tenths of a degree.

Qc, Quadrant of the globe (specify whether the latitude is north or south and the longitude east or west).If north of the equator (north latitude), Qc is coded as 1 when east of the Greenwich Meridian (east longitude), or as 7 when west of the Greenwich meridian. If south of the equator (south latitude), Qc is coded as 3 when east of the Greenwich meridian, or as 5 when west of the Greenwich meridian.
LoLoLoLo, Longitude in degrees and tenths of a degree. Always coded with four digits, with the leading (hundreds) figure coded as 0 or 1. The first three digits are actual degrees, the last digit for tenths of a degree.

- the ship movement data is coded in Section 2:
222DsVs ...

222, indicator
Ds, true ship’s course made good during the three hours preceeding the time of observation:
0 Ship hove to
1 NE
2 E
3 SE
4 S
5 SW
6 W
7 NW
8 N
9 Unknown
/ Not reported

Vs, Ship’s average speed, in knots, made good during the three hours preceeding the time of observation.
0 0 knot
1 1 to 5 knots
2 6 to 10 knots
3 11 to 15 knots
4 16 to 20 knots
5 21 to 25 knots
6 26 to 30 knots
7 31 to 35 knots
8 36 to 40 knots
9 Over 40 knots
/ Not reported

So, looking at the following heard message:

RBC89 572 9 5 0955 572 = FOR RJD90 RJH74 =
050?? 99662 10345 41/96 9230? 00050 40000 52020
70222 89/// 22232 00030 20202 232// 40302 88000
05016 = + RBC89

the ship  RBC89 (calling ship RJD99) at that time was at 66.2N 34.5E , heading SE @ 6-10kts: the position of RBC89 is decoded from 99662 10345, with the heading/speed 22232:

You can also do a quick check of MarineTraffic.com to see what it shows where a ship had reported its position...

other CW messages and Q-codes
other CW messages are QTC and QSA requests such as:


RBC89 186 ?? 5 0730 186 = FOR RJD90 RJH74 = 05021 99662 10362 41/96 92207 00040 49980 54000 748?4 89/// 22272 00030 20202 319// 40402 88000 05016 = + RBC89

The following message is a radiocheck 
sent by ship Novocherkassk, Amphibious Landing (callsign RFH71) to HQ base of BSF in Sevastopol (RCV)


Other than the Q-codes meanings assigned by ITU, the following codes are used by the Russian Military:

QWH I start send on frequency

QWH 9700/rptd = 12056/rptd will send on 9700, alternatively on 12056
QWH 9700/8536 = 12056/12572 the link will run with two parallel frequencies

QYR I start working on 81Baud RTTY

QYS I start working on duplex radiotelephony

QYT4 I start use MS-5 system

QYT4 QMO Adjust your MS-5 system

QSX 8440/rptd = 12414/rptd I will listen on 8440, alternatively on 12414QLS Use (upper) alternative frequency or Change frequency!

QRS Send slower

so that a trasmission such as:
means that ship RMRV will start to transmit in MS-5 multiplex mode on 16680.0 KHz 

Sources and References:

24 August 2014

CARB messages

CARB is the acronym for Channel Availability and Receipt Broadcast, these transmissions radiate information on the frequencies available for ship-shore traffic and to pass control and receipt messages; sometimes also indicated as FAB or Frequency Availability Broadcast. Some naval stations use both RTTY and STANG-4285 for CARBs, sometimes interspersed with pseudo-random encrypted data (see CTA CARBs).

CARB procedures are used to automatically perform a channel-link before a message could be sent.
A number of receivers ashore are combined to omni-directional aerials, the frequencies being those advertised on the CARB. A ship wishing to send a message raises a transmitter on the optimum frequency available and send a test message. This message includes an indication of the ship's position with reference to the directional aerials available to the receivers ashore. The shore station selects the best directional aerial to receiver and acknowledges the receipt of the test message by a condition code on the CARB transmission. A second test message from the ship measures the quality of reception and requests transmission of traffic. The ship then passes its traffic, receiving recepits on the CARB until its traffic is cleared. The shore station then returns his receiver to an omni-directional aerial and resets the CARB.

Some CARBs examples (the ending "I" usually stands for I(N) IDLE)

CTA NATO Lisbon, POR (STANAG-4285)

PBB Dutch Navy Den Helden, HOL (RTTY 75/850)
02A 04B 06A 08B 12A 16X PBB
04O 06A 08B 12A 16X 22X PBB 

IDN Nato Allied Joint Force Command Naples, I (STANAG-4285)

IDR/IGJ Italian Navy Rome, I (STANAG-4285)
IDR2 /IGJ42 /IGJ43 /IDR8 /IDR3 /IGJ41 /
IDR2 /IGJ42 /IGJ43 /IDR8 /IDR3 /IGJ41 /
IDR2 /IGJ42 /IGJ43 /IDR8 /IDR3 /IGJ41 /
IDR2 /IGJ42 /IGJ43 /IDR8 /IDR3 /IGJ41 /

In this real-world CTA message (courtesy by Wolfgang from UDXF) they QSL #3849
and the QSX seems to be on 6 MHz (CTA06)
Some CARBs transmissions heard at my side
PBB CARB transmission

IDN CARB transmission

CTA CARB transmission

IDR Rome CARB transmission
TBB Turkish Navy Ankara, CARB Transmission

CTA/CTP CARB transmission

Portuguese Navy & CTA NATO on HF (STANAG-4285)

(always-under-revision post)
 The Portuguese Navy (Portuguese: Marinha Portuguesa, also known as Marinha de Guerra Portuguesa or as Armada Portuguesa) is the naval branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces which, in cooperation and integrated with the other branches of the Portuguese military, is charged with the military defence of Portugal. The Portuguese Navy also participates in missions related with international compromises assumed by Portugal (mainly with NATO), as well as missions of civil interest.
Today, the Portuguese Navy assumes a dual role capacity: Naval combat missions to assure Portugal's sovereignty and international commitments, and coast guard operations in its territorial waters and areas of influence.
The Portuguese Navy, tracing back to the 12th century, is the oldest continuously serving navy in the world!

Portugal became a charter member of NATO in 1949; it is an active member of the Alliance, and Portuguese forces participate in NATO operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo. Under the 1995 U.S.-Portugal Agreement on Cooperation and Defense, Lajes Field in the Azores serves as a logistics hub for U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. European Command and NATO allies. In 2012, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) transferred from Italy to Portugal. STRIKFORNATO is NATO’s premier maritime battle staff and the Alliance’s primary link for integrating U.S. maritime forces into NATO operations. Portugal also has been a strong partner in the fight against terrorism and drug-trafficking.

CTA is the callsign used in HF/STANAG-4285, they usually use ISB mode [1] , i.e. the encrypted channel on USB and CARB messages (clear) on LSB.

CTA14 STANAG-4285/ISB spectrum

The CARBs  sent by CTA, as seen, expose the time (UTC) of the transmitted frame just at the beginning of every row:


reported sites
Monsanto (Lisbon) *
Oeiras (Lisbon)

* CTA its located in Serra do Monsanto, in Lisbon and not in Monsanto municipaly

reported frequencies SATANAG-4285/LSB/600L/5N1
02572.5 CTA02
04306.0 CTA04
64595.0 CTA06
08701.0 CTA08
12704.5 CTA12
14631.0 CTA14
17217.1 CTA17 [?]
19743.0 CTA19 [?]
22210.0 CTA22


[1] http://i56578-swl.blogspot.it/2014/09/isb-independent-side-band-transmissions.html

All information in this document was submitted by independent radio monitors or has been obtained from public available sources and public sites on the web. Wherever data was obtained via the web or elsewhere, references and/or links to these sources have been noted.

21 August 2014

Royal Netherlands Navy on HF (USB/Stanag-4285/RTTY)

(always-under-revision post)
The Koninklijke Marine (Royal Netherlands Navy) is the navy of the Netherlands. During the 17th century the Dutch Navy was the most powerful navy in the world and it played an active role in the wars of the Dutch Republic and later those of the Batavian Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In more recent times the Royal Netherlands Navy has taken part in expeditionary peacekeeping and peace-enforcing operations.
As a member of NATO, the Netherlands developed its security policy in close cooperation with other members. The establishment of the Warsaw pact in 1955 intensified the arms race between West and East. Technical innovations rapidly emerged, the introduction of radar and sonar were followed by nuclear weapon systems and long-range missiles. The geopolitical situation allowed for a fixed military strategy. Beginning in 1965, the Dutch Navy joined certain permanent NATO squadrons like the Standing Naval Force Atlantic.

The main naval base is at Den Helder, North Holland. Secondary naval bases are at Amsterdam, Vlissingen, Texel, and Willemstad (Curaçao). Netherlands Marine Corps barracks are in Rotterdam, Doorn, Suffisant on Curaçao, and Savaneta on Aruba.

PBB Navy Den Helder
PBC Goeree Island
PBV NAS Valkenburg
PJC NRN Hato Curacao (Counter-Narco Ops)
PJK Suffisant Curacao (ASW Operations)

Warship frequencies (to stations PBB/PBC)
02121.4  Channel 02A
02259.4  Channel 02B
04155.0  Channel 04A
04161.0  Channel 04B
04171.5  Channel 04C
06237.5  Channel 06A
06242.0  Channel 06B
08321.0  Channel 08A
08324.0  Channel 08B
08337.5  Channel 08C
12375.5  Channel 12B
16576.0  Channel 17B

PBV NAS Valkenburg frequencies
3128.0  5705.0  6728.0  8971.0  11178.0

Navy Den Helder "De Kooy" frequencies
Ship-to-Shore: 02204.0
Air-to-Ground (Helicopter): 02753.0

Caribbean Operations frequencies
PJC 08199.6
PJK 11178.0

PBB USB STANAG-4285/600L reported frequencies

PBB channel availability broadcasts (CARB) reported frequencies
RTTY 75/850

PBC USB STANAG-4285/600L reported frequencies

PBC channel availability broadcasts (CARB) reported frequencies
RTTY 75/850

All information in this document was submitted by independent radio monitors or has been obtained from public available sources and public sites on the web. Wherever data was obtained via the web or elsewhere, references and/or links to these sources have been noted.

15 August 2014

French Navy on HF (USB/Stanag-4285)

(always-under-revision post)
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale ("National Navy") and casually called La Royale, is the maritime arm of the French military. Tracing its roots back from 1624 it is one of the world's oldest naval forces and historically played a key part in establishing the French colonial empire.
The motto of the navy is Honneur, patrie, valeur, discipline ("Honour, Motherland, Valour, Discipline") and these words are found on the deck of every ship in the fleet. Since 2008, its roles have been defined as maintaining intelligence, protecting populations, preventing crises, intervening wherever necessary to reestablish peace, and dissuading any threats against vital French interests. The French Navy does not use prefixes of the names of its ships (such as the Royal Navy uses HMS, for instance). Foreign commentators sometimes use the prefixes "FS" (for "French Ship") or FNS (for "French Navy Ship"); these are not official, however.

The French Navy is 44,000 men and women (37,000 military and 7,000 civilians) serving France, with more than 180 ships, 200 aircraft and 6 commandos units. Assuring a permanence presence of: 30 ships at sea, 5 aircraft in the air, an SSBN undersea. All those units are shared between 6 specific forces. As a blue-water navy the Marine nationale operates a wide range of fighting vessels, including a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, nuclear-powered submarines, frigates, patrol boats and support ships. 
Major naval bases in use are; Toulon, Brest, Ile Longue and Cherbourg in Metropolitan France. Fort de France, Degrad des Cannes, Port des Galets, Nouméa and Papeete at Overseas departments and territories. As well as bases in foreign countries such as Abu Dhabi, Dakar and Djibouti.
La Régine hosts a Very Low Frequency (VLF) Naval communications facility. Using 28 transmitters and antennas (the highest one over 300m) the facility provides contact with the French nuclear ballistic missile submarines at sea.
It's official callsign is FUG.

STANAG-4285 well known callsigns
FUE Brest
FUV Djbouti
FUF/OMFUF Martinique
FUG La Regine/Saissac
6WW Dakar
FUM Papeete/Thaiti
FUX Reunion 
FUJ Noumea
FUO Toulon

Below, some screenshots about my receptions of the French Navy stations operating on HF USB/STANAG-4285:

FUV - Djbouti

FUF - Fort de France, Martinica

FUM - Papeete, French Polynesia
6WW - Dakar, Senegal

FUE - Brest, France
FUG8 - La regine, France

FUG12 - La Regine, France
All information in this document was submitted by independent radio monitors or has been obtained from public available sources and public sites on the web. Wherever data was obtained via the web or elsewhere, references and/or links to these sources have been noted.
French Navy HF fleet broadcast is discussed here: