The Severnaya facility is a fictional space weapons control centre concealed as a supposedly abandoned radar station at Severnaya, in Siberia, the middle of northern Russia. It features prominently in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, where it serves as the nerve centre for the titular superweapon. It subsequently appeared in GoldenEye's novelisation, 1997 video game, and 2010 video game re-imagining.
Severnaya served as the primary headquarters for the GoldenEye weapons program in the years following the close of the Cold War. Before its collapse, the Soviet Union designed a satellite-based program to be deployed against its enemies in the Western world, utilised a weaponized electromagnetic pulse capable of destroying all electronic hardware in the span of a thirty-mile radius. British intelligence got wind of the project but eventually wrote off the plausibility of its existence, citing a lack of the necessary funds and technology to see its fulfilment. In truth, the project continue in secret, under the command of General Arkady Ourumov, head of the Russian Space Division. Its primary facility at Severnaya was found in an underground bunker linked to a massive satellite dish that served to track the positioning of its two active satellites, codenamed Petya and Mischka.
The region was accessible only by helicopter or sled dog, and normally hosted at least a dozen specialized technicians and a small security staff. The bunker hosted few facilities, composed primarily of a massive control center where the activation keys were safely stored in a high security vault.
In the events of the film, the Janus Syndicate sought out the weapon and sent the traitorous General Ourumov and Xenia Onatopp to retrieve it. Upon arrival, they met with Severnaya technician Boris Grishenko, who unbeknownst to his comrades had sold out the GoldenEye to Janus. Ourumov announces an unscheduled test firing of the GoldenEye and demands the access keys. Onatopp then proceeds to massacre the entire staff, mowing down all of the technicians as they attempted to flee. A single technician, Natalya Simonova witnesses the carnage from afar and hides from her would-be killers as they activate the GoldenEye. They program satellite Petya to fire upon Severnaya, hoping to eliminate all evidence of their actions there. However, a dying guard manages to activate a distress beacon that alerts the Russian Air Force to the incident, who then scramble a trio of MIGs to intercept the attackers. The signal also alerts MI6, who observe the region via satellite.
Ourumov and Xenia flee the scene, escaping in the stolen Eurocopter Tiger prototype as it was designed to be impervious to the effects of the EMP. The subsequent EMP blast completely destroys the facility and the entire region is plunged into darkness. All three MIGs are brought down, with one of them plowing into the radar tower and causing it to collapse. Simonova survives the carnage and manages to escape by climbing up the remains of the dish. She then flees to safety with a team of sled dogs still on site.
The Russian government orders General Ourumov to investigate the incident, unaware of his role in it, and reports to world leaders that it was merely the result of an accident. MI6 and the United States are unconvinced however and suspect Janus of being behind it, prompting MI6 to send James Bond to St. Petersburg to track down and destroy the weapon before it can be used again.
Behind the scenes