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Proton
Kharkov Radio Plant (ХРЗ)

Proton was a state-owned manufacturer of electronic equipment, based in Kharkov 1 (Ukraine). The company mainly produced radio receivers, control systems and metal works, and was known locally as Хáрьковский радиозавод (ХРЗ) - Протон, translated: Kharkov Radio Plant - Proton.

Proton company logo

Proton was founded in 1927. During the Cold War (1646-1992) – when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union – radio sets were made for the Soviet Military and for Soviet Intelligence services like the KGB. In 2015, 23 years after the collapse of the USSR, the company was declared bankrupt.

  1. Russian: Хáрьков (Kharkov), Ukrainian: Хáркiв (Kharkiv).

Proton equipment on this website
Spy radio set R-353 Spy radio set R-353L
History
The company was established in 1927 as the first Ukrainian radio factory. During WWII, Proton developed and built radio equipment that was used the Soviet troups in Europe. During the Cold War, Proton was one of the main suppliers of the covert radios and 'spy' radio equipment used by the Soviet intelligence services, but this changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Proton tried to survive by servicing existing Cold-War era radio equipment, developing radio detection equipment and selling telephone installations, but it appeared difficult to survive in post-USSR Ukraine, with heavy international competition.

By 2013, the company and its buildings at Povstannya Square 1 7/8, were in a deplorable state. Proton was still servicing old devices and had hardly developed any new ones over the years. The roofs of the buildings were leaking and the infrastructure needed modernisation.
  
The site of the Proton radio factory in Kharkov, shortly before its closure in 2015 [3].

On 28 July 2014, by ruling of the Economic Court or the Kharkov region, ХРЗ Proton was declared bankrupt [2]. The company was subsequently liquidated and the buildings were sold off. In the vicinity of the old site is now a buisiness center that carries the name PROTON БIЗНЕС-ЦЕНТР.

  1. Translated: Revolt Square.

The site of the Proton radio factory in Kharkov, shortly before its closure in 2015 [3]. The site of the Proton radio factory in Kharkov, shortly before its closure in 2015 [3]. The current PROTON business center, not far from the former factory [3].
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The site of the Proton radio factory in Kharkov, shortly before its closure in 2015 [3].
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The site of the Proton radio factory in Kharkov, shortly before its closure in 2015 [3].
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The current PROTON business center, not far from the former factory [3].

Known Proton equipment
Below is a non-exhaustive list of products that are known to have been developed and/or manufactured at the Kharkov Radio Plant 'Proton'. The list is by no means correct or complete. If you know of any further devices that were made by Proton, please let us know.

Model Codename Russian Description More
R-353 Proton Протон Spy radio set  
R-353L Proton-L Протон Л Spy radio set  
P-399A Katran Катран Radio receiver 1  
P-309A Jump Прыжок Radio receiver  
P-309A Jump Прыжок Radio receiver  
P-324 - - Radio receiver  
PRM-2P - - Automatic HF (bug) detector and scanner  
P-399T - - Panorama viewer 2  
  1. This device can be upgraded (modernised).
  2. Suitable for the P-399A, P-309A and P-423.

Last known address
  • Kharkiv Radio Plant 'Proton'
    7/8 Povstannya sq. 1
    c. Kharkiv, 61001
    Ukraine
  1. In 2015, following the de-communization of Ukraine, the name Povstannya square (Revolt square) was changed to Zakhysnykiv Ukrainy Square.

References
  1. Kharkov Radio Plant (Proton) corporate website
    Retrieved Janury 2018.

  2. Kharkov Economic Court, Bankrupcy of the state enterprise Kharkov Radio Plant 'Proton'
    Case No. 922/4893/13. 24 July 2014.

  3. Retrotechnika, Image of Radio Factory Proton
    Website. Retrieved January 2018.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Wednesday 17 January 2018. Last changed: Wednesday, 17 January 2018 - 17:09 CET.
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