Kawich Range: Altenburg Air Base as Target

Rachel, Nevada, close to "Area 51"

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
CoordinatesN372420 W1161418 (WGS84) Google Maps
Map with location of Kawich Range Altenburg Air Base, United States of America
The history of the Cold War airfields: Target Airfield near Rachel, Nevada


In the northern part of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), USA, there is a replica of the former Soviet airfield Altenburg, East Germany, about 175 km (110 miles) away from Berlin. The replica in Nevada is used as a training target.
According to old satellite images, the facility was built between 1974 and 1976, probably in 1976.

Location of airfield

70 km north-northeast von Beatty, Nevada, 50 km southwest of Rachel, Nevada and 43 km northwest of the center of Area 51.
Map of Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas, 1993
Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas an a map from 1993 - The map covers an area of about 250 km (155 miles) in east-west direction and 220 km (137 miles) in north-south direction. Numerous nuclear weapons were also tested here. 1: Airfield replica; 2: Groom Lake ("Area 51") Air Force Test Center; 3: Tolicha Peak. Places: Alamo, Beatty, Crystal Springs, Indian Springs, Goldfield, Rachel.
Source: U.S. Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center, via Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

During the Cold War

In the 1970s


Altenburg Airfield, East Germany 1970
The original Altenburg Airfield in East Germany on 10 March 1970 in snow.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Kawich Valley Airfield, Nevada, 1976
The copied airfield in Kawich Valley, Nevada, on a satellite image from 10 November 1976
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

In the 1980s and early 1990s


Altenburg Air base replica, Nevada, on an arial image 1983
The air base replica in Nevada on an arial image from 03 July 1983 - The runway is turned clockwise by approx. 20° compared to the original.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Map of Kawich Valley airfield, Nevada, 1988
Map with target markings (1988)
Source: U.S. Geological Survey



Air base immitation, Nevada, on an arial image 1997
The replica in Nevada on an arial image from 04 May 1997
Source: U.S. Geological Survey



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