Russia promotes anti-access systems
As U.S. planners debate options for aircraft or missile attacks against Syria (see page 26), Russian industry—still dependent both on domestic and export sales—is continuing to develop new systems that will allow its customers to strengthen anti-access and area-denial capabilities.
Among the weapons displayed for the first time at the MAKS air show at Zhukovsky near here in late August was the Almaz-Antey S-350E Vityaz (Knight) surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. The S-350E is intended as a replacement for the 1980s-era S-300, with an emphasis on countering saturation attacks by both aircraft and munitions. It is being developed with export in mind, as well as part of a layered, mobile defense system for Russia that is topped by the new S-400 long-range SAM and the in-development S-500 ballistic missile defense system.
The system is carried on three BAZ wheeled vehicles: a 6 X 6 truck for the 50N6E multifunction radar and 50K6E control station, and an 8 X 8 for the 50P6E 12-round launcher. This continues the trend to migrate SAM systems from tracks to wheels for better on-road mobility.
The radar and control station vehicles are, like other new Russian SAMs, fitted with the NK Orientir precision location system, comprising three multiple satellite-navigation receivers mounted on a rigid frame, about 2.5 meters (8.2 ft.) apart. Using the differences between the signals received by the three units, the system is capable of precisely and rapidly determining the absolute and relative orientation and position of the radar and control system, enabling quick set up (an estimated 5 min.) and sensor fusion without using pre-surveyed sites.
The S-350E radar and launcher can be located as far as 2 km away from the control station. The radar is controlled remotely from the control vehicle, and the entire system can operate either autonomously (with up to two missiles and eight launchers, with 96 missiles in all) or as part of a larger, integrated air-defense system. The company says its effective range is 60 km.
The active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar can track 100 targets over a 360-deg. field of view, while providing intercept-grade tracking of eight targets and 16 missiles. The 50P6E carries 12 vertically launched Fakel 9M96E2 missiles (also used as the close-range element of the S-400), Mach 3.5 weapons using inertial midcourse guidance with radar updates and active radar terminal homing. Weapons can be launched at 2-sec. intervals.
Another MAKS newcomer was a full-scale mock-up of a transportable ballistic missile-defense radar. Named simply Demonstrator, the radar was developed by Almaz-Antey and Radiofizika, which was responsible for most Soviet-era experimental and deployed missile-tracking radars. The antenna resembles theTPY-2, but Russian radar is bistatic, with separate AESA transmitter and receiver antennas linked by fiber-optic cables, giving some advantages against some low-radar-cross-section targets. While the TPY-2 is an X-band system, the Russian radar apparently works in the Ka-band, like some earlier large radars from Radiofizika.
The Demonstrator system is designed to be deployable in 30 min. and has a 1,500-km detection range and 600-km tracking range against a 1-sq.-meter target, with a 5-meter accuracy in range and the ability to track 25 targets at once. One possible application is long-range targeting for the S-500 air and missile defense system, due to enter service in 2018. It was described at MAKS as a civilian system for tracking space objects. Vocal Russian opposition to U.S. plans to locate ballistic missile defense radars in Eastern Europe may explain reticence about the system's military utility.
Another potential threat to aircraft and missiles comes from passive detection and tracking systems. The NII Vektor research institute in St. Petersburg has developed a passive sensor associated with the Agat/Novator Club-K coastal defense system, which comprises missiles and control systems built into standard shipping containers. It is understood that Malaysia is the first export customer for the Club-K.
The Vektor sensor has an antenna with eight sub-arrays carried on a scissors-type elevating platform. By using two or more units, separated by some distance, the system can locate emissions using time-difference-of-arrival processing, and can locate a target in “one or two pulses,” an NII Vektor engineer says. The company says the sensor is able to detect an airborne warning and control aircraft at 800 km, air warfare cruiser at 220-400 km and submarine using a satellite data link at 30-90 km.
A truck-mobile version of the system was first deployed with Russian forces in 2002 and is now being superseded in domestic use by a version that is claimed to be able to provide target range within 10% accuracy, with a single station. The means by which this is done are undisclosed. The system primarily uses target emissions for detection, but could also work bistatically with “emitters of opportunity,” such as other radars or TV stations. A similar system, Avtobaza-M fromDefense Systems, was shown in model form at MAKS and is being delivered to Russian forces.
Tap on the icon in the digital edition of AW&ST to see more systems and technologies on display at MAKS, or go to AviationWeek.com/maks