Not many air shows these days feature a nine-aircraft fast-jet formation, let alone a three-aircraft formation of supercruising stealth fighters, but MAKS, under way this week at Zhukovsky near Moscow, does. The opening day, Tuesday, was organizationally marred by a near-three-hour lockdown while Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev toured the exhibits, but there was still time to check out some of the new technology, and new-to-international-audiences technology, on show.
My colleague Doug Barrie and I initially walked straight past three nondescript cargo containers:
This was of course the idea, since they later were opened up to reveal themselves as the Club-K missile system:
One segment of the outside exhibition was dominated by two massive surface-to-air radars belonging to the NIIRT 55Xh6ME complex, a multi-waveband group of radars associated with the long-range S-400 Triumph surface-to-air missile. The VHF Nebo-SVU is fairly well known:
On the other hand, it was joined by a similarly large low-frequency radar (more details to follow) backed with a higher-band active electronically scanned array antenna. This system has not been seen previously.
Also new was the S-350 Vityaz from Alamaz-Antey, a highly mobille system, smaller than the S-400, but using that system's 9M96E2 missile. The S-350 is carried in three modules -- the 50K6E command post, the 50N6E radar and the 12-round 50P6E launcher. A single command post can control two radars and up to eight launchers, and engage up to 16 aircraft or 12 missiles at a time.