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R-187-P1   Azart
Military HF/VHF/UHF software defined radio - wanted item

R-187-P1 (Russian: Р-187-П1), 1 also known as AZART-P1, is a military-grade HF/VHF/UHF two-way handheld radio, developed around 2012 by the Russian MoD in cooperation with NGO Angstrem 2 (Ангстрем) in Moscow (Russia). It is the successor to the R-168 Akveduct (Акведук) family (2000-2016). Part of the AZART (АЗАРТ) family of devices, this sixth-generation digital tactical Software Defined Radio (SDR) can be used from 27 to 520 MHz with full encryption on VHF and UHF. It offers a selection of analogue and digital waveforms, including AM, FM, and SSB.

The radio supports the digital TETRA standard, which has two modes of operation: TMO and DMO. In TMO it allows digitally encrypted com­mu­nication, but only when a suitable repeater (base station) is present in its vicinity. In DMO, direct digital communication is possible between mobile stations, but without encryption. Instead it offers audio masking, which is probably a time and frequency domain (F/T) voice scrambler.

As a powerful counter-countermeasure against eaves­dropping and jamming, the radio offers a sophisticated Frequency Hopping (FH) mode.
  
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With FH enabled, the radio can make up to 20,000 frequency jumps per second. FH also reduces the chance of being located by means of Radio Direction Finding (RDF). To allow FH at this rate, the radio used GPS and Glonass for synchronisation. 3 It is backwards compatible with previous generation Akveduct devices, which offer a frequency hopping rate of 100 jumps per second.

The R-187-P1 (AZART) was first used by public safety organisations in 2014, during the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (Russia). The Russian Armed Forces started using it in 2015. The device was also used during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but in limited quantities, which led to public speculation about its quality. Although the device was completely designed in Russia, it was rumoured that it was manufactured in China and that the build quality was sub-standard. This has since been refuted. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine [9], some R-187-P1 radios were captured and analysed by Ukranian Forces, who managed to put them to their own use.

The export version of the device — which probably offers less secure encryption — is known as R-187-P1E. A mobile version of the radio with a wider frequency range and a higher output power, is known as R-187-VE. The AZART R-187-P1 is expected to be succeeded during the course of 2023 by AZART-2, which offers enhanced performance and less power consumption.

PLEASE HELP — At present we have no further information about the Russian R-187-P1 (AZART) radio. Any further information or documentation would be greatly appreciated. We are also looking for a working AZART R-187-P1 radio for a reasonable price. If you think you can help, please contact us.
  1. The Russian word АЗАРТ (AZART) means Excitement or Passion.
  2. Also written as Angstrom or Angström.
  3. If the GPS or Glonass channel is jammed, the radio looses its high-speed Frequency Hopping capability.

A complete R-18-P1 unit ready for operation
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A complete R-18-P1 unit ready for operation

Master password: 52867061

TETRA
The radio supports the digital TETRA standard, as defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). TETRA has two modes of operation: Trunked Mode Operation (TMO) and Direct Mode Operation (DMO). In TMO it allows digitally encrypted communication, but only when a suitable repeater (base station, or network mast) is present in its vicinity. In DMO, direct digital communication is possible between mobile stations, but no encryption is available. Instead is offers audio masking, which is probably a time and frequency domain voice scrambler.

 More about TETRA


Counter-countermeasures (CCM)
In the military scene, mobile radio sets commonly provide Frequency Hopping (FH) as a counter-counter­measure (CCM) against eavesdropping, jamming and locating by means of Radio Direction Finding (RDF). in the case of the R-187-P1, the frequency can be altered up to 20,000 times per second, in a pseudo-random pattern determined by a secret proprietary algorithm. To achieve this high hopping rate, the radio relies on GPS or GLONASS for synchronisation. When the GPS or GLONASS signal is jammed, the high hopping rate cannot be used.

The device is backwards compatible with previous generation Akveduct (Акведуцт) devices, which offer a frequency hopping rate of 100 jumps per second.


Programming
Channel frequencies and modes of operation can be programmed directly on the radio using the built-in keypad and the colour LCD display. Alternatively, all features can be programmed via a separately available data cable and a Windows software application, although this application is reported to be rather buggy. By default, the output power of the radio is only half of what is advertised. To get full power, the push-to-talk (ptt) button must be pressed twice in quick succession at the start of a transmission.

Password protected radios can be unlocked with the master password 52867061.


Features
  • Analogue (unencrypted) operation on VHF and UHF in AM and FM
  • 27-50 MHz (AM/FM) typically used for communication with R-123 and R-173 radios which are still used in the Russian BTR tanks
  • 118-134 MHz AM airband communication
  • Satellite communication, including old NATO SATCOM
  • Emergency open communication
  • USB and LSB on HF frequencies
  • Broadcast bands AM/FM
  • Digital TETRA standard
  • Bluetooth
  • Infrared communication port (IR)
  • USB
  • Low-rate data
  • Text messages (TETRA)
  • GSM 900/1800 (without SIM card)
  • Navigation via GPS and GLONASS
  • Two units can be combined into a repeater
  • Remote location interrogation 1
  • Remote emergency erasure 1
  • Communication via Orlan-10 (Орлан-10) UAV
  • Scanner mode

  1. This feature is only available when the radio is within reach of a TETRA base station and successfully registered itself with the base station.

Footage
The 4:25 minute video below was posted on YouTube on 29 October 2022. It shows an AZART-P1 (R-187-P1) radio with accessories, which was probably captured by Ukrainian troops during the Russia/Ukraine war [8].




Specifications
  • Device
    Handheld military radio
  • Purpose
    Military and civil communication
  • Type
    Software Defined Radio (SDR)
  • Manufacturer
    NPO Angstrem, MoD Russia
  • Model
    R-187-P1
  • Designator
    AZART-P1
  • Family
    AZART
  • Product
    PAKD.464113.006
  • Country
    Russia
  • Year
    2012
  • Master pwd
    52867061
  • Waveforms
    AM, FM, USB, LSB, TETRA, PRCH, GSM
  • Navigation
    GPS, Glonass ± 25/25/40m
  • Interface
    USB, RS485, IR, Bluetooth
  • Frequency
    27 - 520 MHz
  • VHF spacing
    1, 6.25, 8.33, 12.5, 25 kHz
  • UHF spacing
    25, 250, 500, 1000 kHz
  • Output
    ≤ 4 W
  • Hopping
    ≤ 20,000 hops/s
  • Data rate
    ≤ 256 kb/s, typically 7.2 kb/s
  • Storage
    512 MB
  • Range
    4 km
  • Operation
    6 to 12 hours
  • Temperature
    -30 to + 50 °C (operating)
  • Storage
    -50 to + 50 °C (operating)
  • Dimensions
    195 × 70 × 40 mm
  • Weight
    500 g
Versions
  • R-187-P1
    Standard version used by Russian forces
  • R-187-P1E
    Export version
Potential users
Below is a non-exhaustive list of countries in which AZART is used or which have shown an interest in AZART [5]:

  • Russian Federation
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Myanmar
  • Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Iran
  • Cuba
  • Mali
  • Pakistan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Several African countries
  • Several Asian countries
  • Several Latin American countries
Documentation
  1. R-187-P1 leaflet
    NPO Angstrem. Undated.

  2. R-187-P1 AZART Operating Instructions (Russian)
    Undated. Obtained from sprotyvg7.com.ua.
References
  1. The military of 10 countries are interested in buying Russian ... 'Azart'
    VPK News, Electronics and optics (translated from Russian). 2 September 2021.

  2. Dr. Thomas Withington et al, Russian Comms in Ukraine: A World of Hertz
    RUSI website, 9 March 2022.

  3. Adrian (YO3HJV), Russian AZART R-187 in Ukraine War
    16 March 2022.

  4. Dr. Thomas Withington, TETRA Talk
    Armada International, 1 April 2022.

  5. Sergey Flash, How to use the trophy radio station R-187-P1 'Azart'
    ARMIA INFORM, 20 November 2022.

  6. Encryption Microchip from AliExpress Found Inside russian Portable 'Azart' Transceivers
    Hi-res images of the interior of the R-187-P1.
    Defense Express, 20 November 2022.

  7. Hacking AZART thread: TLDR Chinese garbage with master password 52867061
    The Radio Research Group, @radio_research on Twitter. 18 December 2022.

  8. Radio Station Azart-P187-P1 Lot
    User Tropies Orcs on YouTube. 29 October 2022.

  9. Wikipedia, Russian invasion of Ukraine
    Visited 14 October 2023.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Thursday 12 October 2023. Last changed: Wednesday, 25 October 2023 - 14:47 CET.
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