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Mobile HF/VHF radio station - this page is for reference only

R-142 was a complete mobile HF and VHF radio system, developed in the USSR and used in the Warsaw Pact countries during the Cold War, consisting of a fairly large metal rack with a number of radio transceivers, intercoms, interfaces, control units and encryption devices. The radio station was generally housed inside a communications shelter mounted on a GAZ-66 truck.

The image on the right shows a typical GAZZ-66 communications truck with a full command and communications shelter on its back, as seen from the rear. The open door at the right is the entrance to the radio shack with the R-142 set at its heart. Apart from the standard R-142 set, it has space for three secret devices (see below).

A small 2-step ladder provides easy access to the radio shack. The lights inside the shack can only be turned on when the door is closed. As soon as the door is opened the lights go off and the red combat lighting comes on automatically.

The open door at the rear is the entrance to the commander's cabin. Inside this compartment is a table with chairs at both sides. The commander can operate the radio set in the other room from a remote control set mounted above this table. To the left of the door is a power generator.

Two foldable window antennas are mounted at the roof of the shelter. They are used for HF communication. A retractable mast with the VHF antennas is mounted behind the door of the radio shack. Furthermore, a selection of rod antennas and wire antennas can be mounted to the shelter. Some can be used whilst driving.

The image on the right shows a typical R-142 radio station at it was built inside the GAZ-66 communications vehicle. Various radio sets are visible in this picture. The sloped device at the bottom center is the operator's control panel.

The empty space to the left of the control panel is reserved for the secret M-125 (Fialka) cipher machine. At the bottom right is another secret device: the R-014D burst encoder. It is shown here with it yellow/green top cover present and was used to avoid radio direction finding (RDF). The radio station can be controlled from four different places inside the vehicle: from within the radio shack, from the commander's cabin (two positions) and finally from the driver's seat (even whilst driving). The frequencies and the cryptographic keys can only be controlled from the radio shack.

R-142 equipment on this website
M-125 (Fialka) wheel-based cipher machine
R-014D, the first fully electronic burst encoder developed by the USSR
T-219 (Yachta) voice scrambler
Block diagram

The image above shows a block diagram of the R-142 radio station as it was mounted inside the shelter of the GAZ-66. Click the image to view the block diagram in full resolution. The R-142 station had space for three secret devices that are highlighted in yellow in the diagram above:

The latter is at the top of the diagram. It is connected to the R-130 HF transceiver and takes the necessary 4.8V power supply from the TE-20 PSU that also feeds the P-180M recorder. Note that the secret units were normally not installed in the radio set, but were only issued at the event of war or during an exercise. In peace time they were represented by empty places in the radio rack.

The image above shows the position of the various components inside the GAZ-66 truck. The blue-coloured section is the R-142 radio set. The various pink-coloured units are the remote control panels. Note that the command post has two control panels plus a recording device. The three secret devices (which were only installed in times of a conflict) are shown in yellow.

The R-142 radio stations consists of over 60 individual units, plus a large number of junction boxes and cables. Whilst it is difficult to give full details of each individual unit, we have listed some highlights below. Please refer to the block diagram to see how the units are connected.

Radio sets
  • R-111 (2x)
  • R-123MT
  • R-130
  • R-809M2
Power Supply Units
  • BP-26 (for R-12MT)
  • TE-1 (for R-111)
  • TE-2 (for R-111)
  • TE-20 (for R-014D and P-180M)
  • TE-25 (for R-809M2)
  • TE-26 (for R-130)
  • TE-75 (for expansion unit)
Auxillary units
  • AB-1-P/30 power generator
  • G-290 power generator
  • R-011M modem
  • R-012M selective call unit (1 or 2 units)
  • P-180M audio recorder
  • Heater for T-219
Secret devices
  1. Crypto Museum, R-142 Block Diagram
    Copyright 2009-2013.

  2. UKW/KW-ESB Funkgerätesatz R-142. Technische Beschreibung. Band II.
    Description of each module (German).

  3. UKW/KW-ESB Funkgerätesatz R-142. Technische Beschreibung. Band II.
    Full technical description with block diagram and wiring diagrams (German).
    42-000-206. Serial number 021068. 29 November 1976.
    Last changed 1 March 1980. CM300309.

  4. Funkgerätesatz R-142 Wartungstechnologie
    Maintenance instructions for the R-142 radio set (German).
    A 040/1/852. 11 December 1979. CM300437.

  5. Funkgerätesatz R-142 Instandsetzung
    Description on how to set up and test the R-142 radio set (German).
    A 040/1/510. 8 October 1980. CM301415.
  1. Anonymous contributor, Photograph of GAZ-66 with R-142 radio set, seen from rear
    Personal correspondence.
More information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 27 October 2013. Last changed: Thursday, 04 January 2024 - 13:55 CET.
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