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R-187-P1   Azart
Military HF/VHF/UHF software defined radio

R-187-P1 (Russian: Р-187-П1), codenamed AZART-P1 (Азарт), 1 is a military HF/VHF/UHF two-way handheld radio, developed in 2012 by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) in cooperation with NGO Angstrem 2 (Ангстрем) in Moscow (Russia). It is the successor to the R-168 Akveduct (Акведук) family (2000-2016). Part of the AZART (АЗАРТ) family of devices, this sixth-generation digital tactical Software Defined Radio (SDR) can be used from 27 to 520 MHz with full encryption on VHF and UHF. It offers a variety of analogue and digital waveforms, including AM, FM, and SSB.

The radio supports the digital TETRA standard, which has two modes of operation: TMO and DMO. In TMO it allows digitally encrypted com­mu­nication, but only when a suitable repeater (base station) is present in its vicinity. In DMO, direct digital communication is possible between mobile stations, but without encryption. Instead it offers audio masking, which is probably a time and frequency domain (F/T) voice scrambler.

As a powerful counter-countermeasure against eaves­dropping and jamming, the radio offers a sophisticated Frequency Hopping (FH) mode.
  

With FH enabled, the radio can make up to 20,000 frequency jumps per second. FH also reduces the chance of being located by means of Radio Direction Finding (RDF). To allow FH at this rate, the radio uses GPS and Glonass for synchronisation. 3 It is backwards compatible with previous generation Akveduct devices, which offer a frequency hopping rate of 100 jumps per second.

The R-187-P1 (AZART) was first used by public safety organisations in 2014, during the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (Russia). The Russian Armed Forces started using it in 2015. The device was also used during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but in limited quantities, which led to public speculation about its quality. Although the device was completely designed in Russia, it was rumoured that it was manufactured in China and that the build quality was sub-standard. This has since been refuted. During the Russian invasion of Ukraine [9], some R-187-P1 radios were captured and analysed by Ukranian Forces, who managed to put them to their own use.

The export version of the device — which probably offers less secure encryption — is known as R-187-P1E. A mobile version of the radio with a wider frequency range and a higher output power, is known as R-187-VE. The AZART R-187-P1 is expected to be succeeded during the course of 2023 by AZART-2, which offers enhanced performance and less power consumption.

  1. The Russian word АЗАРТ (AZART) means Excitement or Passion.
  2. Also written as Angstrom or Angström.
  3. If the GPS or Glonass channel is jammed, the radio looses its high-speed Frequency Hopping capability.

PLEASE HELP — We are still looking for additional information about the R-187-P1 (AZART), such as circuit diagrams, (clear) operating instructions, information about firmware revisions, add-ons and accessories. Any information or physical material would help us to expand this page.  Contact us
Master password: 52867061

Azart with battery and helical antenna
Azart with standard battery, seen from the top
Azart with battery and helical antenna
Keypad
Accessory socket at the right side
Push-To-Talk (PTT) and up/down selector
Azart and standard battery
Standard battery
A
×
A
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Azart with battery and helical antenna
A
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Azart with standard battery, seen from the top
A
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Azart with battery and helical antenna
A
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Keypad
A
5 / 8
Accessory socket at the right side
A
6 / 8
Push-To-Talk (PTT) and up/down selector
A
7 / 8
Azart and standard battery
A
8 / 8
Standard battery

Overview
The image below provides an overview of the controls and connections of the R-187-P1 Azart. The bare device measures 195 × 70 × 40 mm and weights 466 grams (~900 grams with standard battery and antenna #2). The device is powered by a rechargeable battery that is installed at the back. It is shown here with the standard battery. A high capacity battery – which is some­what longer – was available as on option. At the front is a colour display with backlight, and an 18-button keypad — similar to that of a common TETRA radio — for input and menu selection.


At the left side is the Push-to-Talk (PTT) button, which must be held during a two-way voice trans­mission. In this mode, the speaker (above the display) is also used as the microphone. When used for full-duplex voice conversations, e.g. in GSM mode, the additional microphone below the keypad is used. Below the PTT-switch is an UP/DOWN switch for channel selection. At the right side is an expansion socket with 24 contacts (2 × 12) for connection of peripheral equipment.

Features
  • Analogue (unencrypted) operation on VHF and UHF in AM and FM
  • 27-50 MHz (AM/FM) 1
  • 118-134 MHz AM airband communication
  • Satellite communication, including old NATO SATCOM
  • Emergency open communication
  • SSB (USB/LSB) on HF frequencies
  • Broadcast bands AM/FM
  • Digital TETRA standard (TMO/DMO)
  • Bluetooth
  • Infrared communication port (IR)
  • USB port for programming and firmware update
  • Low-rate data
  • Text messages (TETRA)
  • GSM 900/1800 (without SIM card)
  • Navigation via GPS and GLONASS
  • Two units can be combined into a repeater
  • Remote location interrogation 2
  • Remote emergency erasure 2
  • Communication via Orlan-10 (Орлан-10) UAV
  • Scanner mode
The following features were added in firmware version 2.3:

  • Spectrum analyser
  • Reception of frequencies as low as 100 kHz
  • High speed data transfer with error-correction and voice channel
  • Frequency search mode with scanner
  • Backlight permanently ON mode
  • Time synchronisation from a single satellite
  • Unlimited ON time when used with external PSU
  • Watchdog (auto-reset when error or freeze)
  • CTCSS and DCS
  • Full power mode (without pressing PTT twice)
  • Histogram in Navigation menu
  • Improved user interface
  • Redesigned squelch in analogue modes
  • Plop when closing squelch fixed
  • New data transmission mode at 1,200-16,000 baud
  • Various other changes
  1. typically used for communication with R-123 and R-173 radios which are still used in the Russian BTR tanks.
  2. This feature is only available when the radio is within reach of a TETRA base station, and has successfully registered itself with the TETRA network.

Operating instructions
Channel frequencies and modes of operation can be programmed directly on the radio using the built-in keypad and the colour LCD display. Alternatively, all features can be programmed via a separately available data cable and a Windows software application, although this application is reported to be rather buggy. By default, the output power of the radio is only half of what is advertised. To get full power, the push-to-talk (ptt) button must be pressed twice in quick succession at the start of a transmission.

Password protected radios can be unlocked with the master password 52867061. This password is also needed when entering frequencies and modulation type in the service menu.


TETRA
The radio supports the digital TETRA standard as defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). TETRA has two modes of operation: Trunked Mode Operation (TMO) and Direct Mode Operation (DMO). In TMO it allows digitally encrypted communication, but only when a suitable repeater (base station, or network mast) is present in its vicinity. In DMO, direct digital communication is possible between mobile stations, but no encryption is available. Instead is offers audio masking, which is probably a time and frequency domain voice scrambler.

 More about TETRA


Counter-countermeasures (CCM)
In the military scene, mobile radio sets commonly provide Frequency Hopping (FH) as a counter-counter­measure (CCM) against eavesdropping, jamming and locating by means of Radio Direction Finding (RDF). in the case of the R-187-P1, the frequency can be altered up to 20,000 times per second, in a pseudo-random pattern determined by a secret proprietary algorithm. To achieve this high hopping rate, the radio relies on GPS or GLONASS for synchronisation. When the GPS or GLONASS signal is jammed, the high hopping rate cannot be used.

The device is backwards compatible with previous generation Akveduct (Акведуцт) devices, which offer a frequency hopping rate of 100 jumps per second.


Footage
Introduction
The 4:25 minute video on the right was posted on YouTube on 29 October 2022. It shows an AZART-P1 (R-187-P1) radio with accessories, which was probably captured by Ukrainian troops during the Russia/Ukraine war [8].

Source: YouTube, Trophies Orcs
29 October 2022.
  

Keyloading Azart
In this video, YouTube user anonymous alligator explains how to enter cryptographic keys into the Azart radio. This keys are entered in the KEY menu (Клыч), which is part of the Data Editor (Редактор данных) inside the Service Menu (Сервисное меню).

Source: YouTube, anonymous alligator
2 August 2023.
  

Overview of Azart station
In this highly informative video, YouTube user URQQC demonstrates an Azart radio that was captured in Ukraine in 2022.

Source: YouTube, UR3QQC
31 August 2022.
  

Parts
R-187-P1 (AZART) handheld software-defined radio
Standard rechargeable battery (AB)
High-capacity battery
Choice of three antennas
Battery charger
Remote control unit for headset (PU)
Headset with speakers and boom microphone
Azart   Р-187-П1
The heart of the Azart system is the R-187-P1 radio itself. With the standard battery it measures 192 × 65 × 36 mm and weights 720 grams. It was usually carried in a canvas pouch that could be attached to a soldiers webbing.

The user interface consists of a colour display and an 18-button keypad. Transmission knob (PTT) and channel selector are at the left side. Accessories can be connected at the right side.

  

Standard battery   АБ-8
The radio is usually powered by the standard rechargeable Li-ion battery shown in the image on the right. It allows the radio to be operated for 6-12 hours, depending on its usage.

The battery can be charged in situ – with a charger connected to the accessory socket en or sparately by using a dedicated charger.

  

High-capacity battery   АБ-12
For situations in which the standard battery provides insufficient power, e.g. when making a lot of high-power transmission surng the day, a high-capacity variant was available. It is larger than the standard battery and extends the length of the radio by several centimetres.

The battery can be charged in situ – with a charger connected to the accessory socket en or sparately by using a dedicated charger.

  

Antenna   АШ
A suitable antenna must be connected to the TNC socket at the top of the radio. Three diffe­rent antennas were available for the R-187-P1, each with a different frequency range:
  1. 136-520 MHz — wanted
  2. 100-520 MHz
  3. 27-520 MHz — wanted
The antenna shown in the image on the right is the type 2: 100 to 520 MHz frequency range.

  

Battery charger   ЕП/БЗ
The batteries can be charged in several ways. In most cases a user has several batteries that are charged externally with the charger shown in the image on the right. It consists of two parts: (1) a PSU that must be connected to the mains, and (2) a holder into which the battery is installed.

Batteries can also be charged in situ, by connecting the radio to a 10-30V/DC source or to a PC by means of a USB cable.

  

Switcher   ПУ
When using a headset it is neccessary to connect it to the radio via the so-called switcher (ПУ) shown in the image on the right. The switcher is connected to the accessory socket of the Azart radio, and provides two accessory sockets at one of its long sides. One socket (ГАРНИТУРА) is used for connection of the headset. The other socket (АПД) is for other accessories.

The other side of the switcher holds the controls: MODE (РЕЖИМ) UP/DOWN and PTT (ТАНГЕНТА). The switcher can be fitted to the webbing.
  

Headset   ГНШ-П-22-2
t.b.a.   

Azart and standard battery
Standard battery
Battery - contact side
Standard battery - inner side
Azart antenna (type 2)
Azart battery charger BP/BZ
Azart battery charger BP/BZ
Connecting the battery holder (BZ) to the mains adapter (BP)
Battery holder (BZ)
Inserting a battery
Battery being charged
Azart Switcer
Two accessory sockets
Remote controls
Contact side of the plug
Rear side of the plug
B
×
B
1 / 16
Azart and standard battery
B
2 / 16
Standard battery
B
3 / 16
Battery - contact side
B
4 / 16
Standard battery - inner side
B
5 / 16
Azart antenna (type 2)
B
6 / 16
Azart battery charger BP/BZ
B
7 / 16
Azart battery charger BP/BZ
B
8 / 16
Connecting the battery holder (BZ) to the mains adapter (BP)
B
9 / 16
Battery holder (BZ)
B
10 / 16
Inserting a battery
B
11 / 16
Battery being charged
B
12 / 16
Azart Switcer
B
13 / 16
Two accessory sockets
B
14 / 16
Remote controls
B
15 / 16
Contact side of the plug
B
16 / 16
Rear side of the plug

Battery
Standard battery
Opening the battery (4 screws in the corners
Battery interior
Battery interior
PCB with contact
C
×
C
1 / 5
Standard battery
C
2 / 5
Opening the battery (4 screws in the corners
C
3 / 5
Battery interior
C
4 / 5
Battery interior
C
5 / 5
PCB with contact

Interior
Western components
Although the Azart radio was developed in Russia and (partly) built in China, it contains many Western components – in particular digital and analogue chips – from a wide variety of manu­fac­turers. As this is a major concern during the Russo-Ukrainian War that started in 2014 [12], the Ukrainian Government has listed all Western parts that are used in the Azart radio [13]. 1

 Western parts used in the Azart radio 1

  1. Note that at the time the Azart was developed (2012), the use of Western components in Russian (military) equipment was not yet prohibited and sanctioned. Many Western components suppliers even had a representation in Russia at the time.

Connections
Accessory socket
At the right side of the radio is a 24-pin connector, consisting of two contact pads with 12 contacts each, that can be used for the connection of a range of accessories, such as external microphone, speaker, headset, programming device, power, personal computer (via USB port), etc. Below is the pinout of this connector, when looking into the socket on the radio [11].

Pin Signal Russian
1. Ground (GND) 0V Корпус
2. Headset (sensing input) Гарнитура
3. Internally connected to 9 3-9
4. Microphone Микрофон
5. Microphone Микрофон
6. Keyboard (input) Клавиатура
7. Vref 1.7V (output) -
8. USB +5V (and charge) USB +5V
9. Internally connected to 3 9-3
10. USB Data + (green) USB D + 
11. - -
12. USB Data - (white) USB D - 
13. - -
14. - -
15. Speaker Телефон
16. Speaker Телефон
17. RS485 RS485
18. RS485 RS485
19. Push-to-Talk (PTT) Тангента
20. - -
21. 10-30V/DC charger 10...30В ЗУ
A. ?  
B. Sensing input  
C. Remote (sensing input) ПУ
Note that the pin numbering is rather unusual. As there are no numbers an any of the connectors, the numbers and letters from the solder pads inside the radio are used. Also note that pin 1 (ground) is available at both contact blocks.

Headset wiring
Below is the wiring of the headset and/or remote control unit (RCU) [11]. At the left is the wiring of the buttons, the speaker and the microphone. At the right are the pins of the accessory socket at the right side of the radio. At the centre is the cable from the headset to the radio. Depending on the type, an arbitrary number of 1k resistors will be fitted as part of the wiring, commonly in­side the connector. This is done to let the radio know which type of headset or RCU is present.



USB cable
The diagram below shows the wiring of an USB cable that can be used to connect the Azart radio to a Personal Computer (PC). At the left is the wiring of the USB connector. The colours represent the wiring of a standard USB cable that can be modified for this purpose. At the right is the accessory connector at the right side of the radio, when looking into the socket.

Wiring of the USB cable.


Battery
Below is the pinout of the battery when looking onto the contacts. This is the same as looking into the battery compartment of the radio, when the radio's keyboard is facing down. The outmost contacts are the (-) and (+) poles. The centre contact is wired to an internal circuit that prevents the battery from being fully discharged.



Specifications
  • Device
    Handheld military radio
  • Purpose
    Military and civil communication
  • Principle
    Software Defined Radio (SDR)
  • Developer
    NPO Angstrem, MoD Russia
  • Manufacturer
    NPO Angstrem
  • Model
    R-187-P1
  • Designator
    AZART-P1
  • Family
    AZART
  • Product
    PAKD.464113.006
  • Country
    Russia
  • Year
    2012
  • Users
    Public services, Russian MoD, others
  • Master pwd
    52867061
  • Waveforms
    AM, FM, USB, LSB, TETRA, PRCH, GSM
  • Navigation
    GPS, Glonass ± 25/25/40m
  • Interface
    USB port, RS485, IR, Bluetooth
  • Frequency
    27 - 520 MHz
  • VHF spacing
    1, 6.25, 8.33, 12.5, 25 kHz
  • UHF spacing
    25, 250, 500, 1000 kHz
  • Output
    ≤ 4 W
  • Hopping
    ≤ 20,000 hops/s
  • Data rate
    ≤ 256 kb/s, typically 7.2 kb/s
  • Storage
    512 MB
  • Antenna
    TNC socket (see below)
  • Range
    4 km
  • Operation
    6 to 12 hours
  • Temperature
    -30 to + 50 °C
  • Storage
    -50 to + 50 °C
  • Dimensions
    195 × 70 × 40 mm
  • Weight
    466 g 1
  • Price
    ~ US$ 10,000 2
  • Quantity
    < 60,000 3
  1. Without battery and antenna.
  2. The unit price was projected at 30,000 rubles (~ 10,000 US$), but the actual price was much lower as they were manufactured in China [10].
  3. Based on the allocated budget [10].

Antennas
  1. АШ-136/520-П
    136-520 MHz
    Short
  2. АШ-100/520-ПН
    100-520 MHz
    Medium
  3. АШ-27/520-Н
    27-520 MHz
    Long
Accessories
  • АБ-8
    Standard battery
  • АБ-12
    High-capacity battry
  • ПУ
    Switcher
  • ГНШ-П-22-2
    Headset
Versions
  • R-187-P1
    Standard version used by Russian forces
  • R-187-P1E
    Export version
Users
Below is a non-exhaustive list of countries in which AZART is used or which have shown an interest in AZART [5]:

  • Russian Federation
  • Armenia
  • Belarus
  • Myanmar
  • Sudan
  • Uganda
  • Iran
  • Cuba
  • Mali
  • Pakistan
  • Burkina Faso
  • Several African countries
  • Several Asian countries
  • Several Latin American countries
Documentation
  1. R-187-P1 Leaflet
    NPO Angstrem. Undated.

  2. R-187-P1 AZART Operating Instructions (Russian)
    Undated. Obtained from sprotyvg7.com.ua.

  3. Azart-P1 Technical specifications (Russian)
    Радиостанхия Портативная Азарт-П1. Технические условия.
    ПАКД.464113.005ТУ, КОД ОКП 6514484030. Undated.

  4. Azart firmware version 2.3 — 10 new features (Russian)
    Author and date unknown.

  5. R-187-P1 (Azart) - Enemy book (Russian)
    КНИГА ВОРОГА. Short instructions printed in Ukraine.
    Kiev (Ukraine), 2023.

  6. Software Operating Instructions (Russian)
    2019. Used for loading radio data and map files.
     English translation 1

  7. Data transfer manual (Russian)
    2019. Used for transferring data between two PCs via two Azart radios.
     English translation 1
  1. Machine translated by Google.

Software download
  1. Azart PC software
    Collection of Azart software for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7.
    Operating instructions available above under [F] and [G].
References
  1. The military of 10 countries are interested in buying Russian ... 'Azart'
    VPK News, Electronics and optics (translated from Russian). 2 September 2021.

  2. Dr. Thomas Withington et al, Russian Comms in Ukraine: A World of Hertz
    RUSI website, 9 March 2022.

  3. Adrian (YO3HJV), Russian AZART R-187 in Ukraine War
    16 March 2022.

  4. Dr. Thomas Withington, TETRA Talk
    Armada International, 1 April 2022.

  5. Sergey Flash, How to use the trophy radio station R-187-P1 'Azart'
    ARMIA INFORM, 20 November 2022.

  6. Encryption Microchip from AliExpress Found Inside russian Portable 'Azart' Transceivers
    Hi-res images of the interior of the R-187-P1.
    Defense Express, 20 November 2022.

  7. Hacking AZART thread: TLDR Chinese garbage with master password 52867061
    The Radio Research Group, @radio_research on Twitter. 18 December 2022.

  8. Radio Station Azart-P187-P1 Lot
    User Tropies Orcs on YouTube. 29 October 2022.

  9. Wikipedia, Russian invasion of Ukraine
    Visited 14 October 2023.

  10. Military, World, Russia, Signal Troops - Equipment
    Global Security (website), 21 March 2023.

  11. Anonymous, Wiring of the Azart accessory socket
    February 2024.

  12. Wikipedia, Russo-Ukrainian War
    Visited 20 March 2024.

  13. War & Sanctions, Foreign components in weapons
    Government of Ukraine. Visited 20 March 2024.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Thursday 12 October 2023. Last changed: Wednesday, 20 March 2024 - 11:51 CET.
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