Communications Centre Unit concentrated on the use of military communications equipment, as well as other forms of secret communication. Our unit also undertook advanced training. With specializations in both Russia and Angola.
General Communication Course for Umkhonto We Sizwe :
2. Small Arms
3. Political Classes
5. Physical Training
- Military Communications equipment (R105, Tai 57)
-Field telephone and
-Types and Deployment of R105 antenna
-Handling of batteries
-Coding of Messages
Specialization in Military Communications Angola
Military Communications Specialization (Moscow),
1. Morse Code,
2. Fundamentals of Radiocommunications (included following topics: Block diagram and electronic circuitry, fault finding, technical characteristics of radio stations, ionosphere and propagation of radio waves, antenna systems and their deployment, frequency prognosis, operating radio stations, Morse
cryptography, electro technique and batteries.
And also the following: 11-year Cycles of Sun Spots, HF, VHF and UHF. Special communications.
Use of topography compass to deploy antenna system. Radio Tuning, Valve repairs.
1. Small Arms,
2. Light Artillery,
5. Fundamentals of Radiocommunications,
6. Organization of Radiocommunications,
7. Electronics & Electrotechnology,
8. Morse Code.
9. Military Combat Works (MCW), Antenna Deployment, High powered Radio transmitters. Interference management, signal to noise ratio. Multiplexing,
Frequency planning, Cryptography, Cipher and One-time pad.
Military Radio Repairs: All of the above except Morse Code
Military Radiocommunications equipment:
1. R105 and R109 series: VHF
radios used at platoon
level covering distances
up to 15 Km with 1 Watt Tx
transmitter power output.
Antenna systems; Kulikov
progressive wave wire
2. R393 and R350 HF series
using Morse Code and
deployed to link our
military bases and to
communicate with forward
Areas and operated by
skilled signallers. Used
directional wire antenna.
Distance covered 1 500 -
3 000 Km single hop
depending on sun activity
life cycle with up to 20
Watt Tx transmitter power
output. It was used by
Soviet Army special
forces. All Soviet military
radios R3.. were built for
3. R118, mounted or fixed
radio station deployed at
Company level covering
voice communications up
to 100 km. The R118 uses a
combination of VHF, UHF
SW radios and a
antenna system used were
6 meter and 12 meter
dipole and inverted V dipole
a rhombic antenna for
ground to air
Transmitter power output
was up to 500 W delivered
by an electron valve GU 50
4. R354 or Proton, most
advanced HF portable
Radio used for long
on Morse Code.
5. R140, similar in
configuration to R118 but
with tx power output up to
2Kw with voice
communications up to 500
KW. Had a prerecording facility like R354 that allowed for short bursts of message transmission making it impossible to intercept. The Soviet version of frequency hop added to immunity from enemy generated radio interference and interception
6. R357. Mounted in three trucks; field power supply truck, Receiver truck that needed a football field antenna system and a Transmitter truck also needing a double football field. Far more powerful and sophisticated than R140 with tx antenna power output sitting at 5KW. We had two of these stations
Our coding of messages ranged from using codes for voice communication, and Coded Morse Codes messages using calculations and decoding keys agreed upon by skilled operators.
These top secret unique code books were made that they could be easily destroyed by saliva or water by the operator if caught by the enemy.
Radio encryption technology and modulation techniques used was out of this world and made interception impossible
Some MK-CC Communications equipment
R109M Field Radio Station was used to establish communications with all units of MK in our military bases in Angola. All our soldiers were trained to operate this equipment. USW: 25-28 MHz, Tx output 1Watt. Deployed to cover up to 5km in Angolan bush enviornment
R105D Field Radio Station. The older version of R109M was also used in our camps in Angola
BDR Mobile Radio Station
BDRM: This was used as a mobile communications command radio station. Operated by MK Communications Officers(Signallers). It was equipped with various radio equipment to provide ground and ground to air communication with helicopters. Communications range up to 100 Km with a telescopic antenna and 300 Km with directional antennas on continuous waves.
R108 Mobile Station - uMaGogo was affectionately known to our communications officers. The first of mobile radio stations operated by MK. On Morse code transmission could cover over 3000 Km. This was deployed in Zambia, Tanzania and Angola. It was equipped with HF and VHF equipment. TX Power output 200 watts. At one time it was a sleeping bunker.
R140 Radio Transmitter: One of the most sophisticated communications equipment used by MK. It combined regular warfare and military intelligence (secret communications) capabilities. A group of MK communications officers were sent to the Soviet Union to specialize on this equipment
R323 Radio Reciever - used in our communications centres. Like most of our equipment, operational instructions were in Russian that we were to learn. e.g. the button HACTPO KA (Nastroika) meant tuning.
R250M HF and Telex Radio Reciever used with R118. Could integrate with VHF radios. We used to listen to SANDF and UNITA communications in Angola during the war times.
East (Malanje Province)
 Quela (Camp near Quela) Out-post Military Camp
 Caculama (Camp near Caculama) Basic Military Training
 Malange City (capital of Malange Province) [Ruth First CC training Centre]
Eastern Front hq cacuso
Hoje – Ya – Henda
Cuanza Sul Province
Cuanza River (border with Malanje Province)
Start from Luanda
Mobility and Convoys - use of Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) for communications – type of APC and Radios
Mobile – Convoy of Trucks Radio network
Route from East to Luanda and back
Route From North to Luanda and back
Eastern Front and Northern Front movement of personnel and trucks and logistics
Radios for training in general course and specialization.
Sub -Sahara Africa Clandestine CC Radio Positions
Uganda (Mbarara, Kampala)
Tanzania ( Mazimbu, Dakawa)
Angola (See Above)
Zimbabwe (Harare, Bulawayo, Plam Tree)
Botswana (Francis Town, Gaborone, Lobatse)
Mozambique (Nampula, Maputo)
Swatini (Manzini Mbabane)
Inside South Africa (All)
Radios and Trained CC people infiltrated inside South Africa to support military units.
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