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This reference work contains the locations of SAM sites and related air defense facilities identified in open source imagery, presented as a collection of Google Earth placemarks. The downloadable file found above contains four separate folders: SAMs by country, SHORAD SAMs, Historical Sites, and Target Range SAMs. There is a fifth folder, Range Rings, which may be downloaded here: Range Rings. This is a link to where the file is hosted, right-clicking and selecting “Save As” will not work.

SAMs by country: This folder is at first organized identically to the Range Rings folder. Each geographic area features a folder populated by subfolders for each nation. A nation’s subfolder will contain up to four folders of its own, depending on the types of systems or facilities identified therein: Active (containing subfolders for each active SAM system), Inactive (containing all inactive sites), Facilities (containing EW radar sites, SAM garrisons, and other related facilities), and Low resolution (containing SAM sites and known support facilities not visible in high resolution). Clicking on the folder name for a continent or a nation will cause a pop-up window to appear displaying the inventories of that continent or nation. Different icons denote different types of facilities. These are as follows:

Squares: facilities such as garrisons, test and training centers Diamonds: EW, BMEW, and OTH radar sites Circles: 36D6 and 64N6 radar sites, or other fire control radar sites associated with a non co-located SAM battery, such as Tien Kung LPARs or NIKE-HERCULES fire control sites. Triangles: SAM sites

The icons in the SAMs by country folder as well as the representative range rings are color coded as follows:

Dark red: SA-2 and HQ-2 Bright red: S-300P series, PATRIOT, Chu-SAM, Tien Kung series, NIKE-HERCULES, SAMP/T, Arrow II, 64N6 radars Dark blue: EW radars, to include 36D6 and 96L6 radars Faded blue: 55Zh6 radars Bright blue: SA-3, Pechora-2M, HQ-7 Bright green: SA-6 Faded green: SA-4, SA-11, SA-15, HQ-16 Dark green: BMEW and OTH radar sites Lime green: HQ-12 Orange: HAWK, HQ-9, S-300V Yellow: S-400, HQ-6D Purple: SA-5 White: an unoccupied location Brown: a general facility or garrison

An active S-300PS site will therefore display as a red triangle. An S-300P garrison will display as a red square, denoting the facility’s affiliation. The placemark names are hidden for clarity, but will display when an individual site is clicked on in Google Earth, along with the identified components at each site and any other significant details. By manipulating the individual folders for each nation and employing the color scheme above, users should find this to be a useful visual representation of the available data.

SHORAD SAMs: This folder is populated with subfolders arranged similarly to the SAMs by country folder. This folder contains placemarks identifying various SHORAD SAM emplacements that have been identified, such as Rapier and Crotale positions. Range rings are not provided, given the short ranges involved.

Historical Sites: This folder is populated with subfolders arranged similarly to the Range Rings and SAMs by country folder. The intent is to separate SAM site locations pertaining to systems which are no longer in active service in respective nations from the main database. For example, two folders are present containing placemarks for the inner and outer SA-1 SAM locations surrounding Moscow. SA-1 sites containing other systems such as SA-10 or SA-20 batteries will remain marked as to their current occupant within the main portion of the database. Additionally, locations for sites which have been dismantled or overtaken by urban growth are retained here.

Target Range SAMs: This folder contains subfolders arranged by country. Each folder contains the locations of SAM-site configured targets on bombing and electronic combat ranges. Many of these sites employ emitters or actual hardware to simulate a given system.

Range Rings: This folder contains representative range rings generated for all SAM sites which are currently active. The folder is divided into various subfolders. First, there is a subfolder for each geographic area. This folder is divided into subfolders, one for each country in that area featuring identified SAM systems. Each country folder will contain various subfolders for each type of active SAM system or identifiable EW radar system. These folders contain the color-coded range rings. The range rings are color coded using the same system described in the next section. The ranges were taken from Jane’s Land-based Air Defence and other industry-affiliated publications. Ranges for the SA-2 are representative of the system’s most common variant (43 km). A subfolder is also included where necessary containing range rings for low-resolution sites believed to be active.

Key Contributors

Various individuals have provided SAM site locations for inclusion into this database, and their help is greatly appreciated. These individuals include Lex2 and ChristianNL from the Google Earth Community, Hpasp, RoAF, p_shadow, and Planeman from the IMINT & Analysis forums, Tim Brewer, Pierre Troyes, and all the readers who have posted site locations in the comments to this article.

Additional Discussion

Feel free to discuss the content of this file at the IMINT & Analysis Forum in the SAM Site Overview discussion thread found here.

Past Updates

Information regarding previous updates to this database has been archived in the comments page attached to this post.

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Jim Lee, ClimateViewer News

Map: Surface to Air Missile (SAM) Sites Worldwide by Jim Lee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

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