The Russian Su-35 fighter is equipped with not one, but three radars with an active phased antenna array (AFAR), which will allow it to detect stealth aircraft, the American portal The Military Watch reported. Gazeta.Ru investigated how many radars are on the Russian fighter – and what they are needed for.
In the material of the portal The Military Watch it is said that additional Su-35 radars were found on the poster of the Ryazan Instrument Plant that produces them. According to the authors of the article, the devices in the wing edges are full-fledged radars with an active phased antenna array.
“These two sensors, embedded in the leading edge of its wings, are active electronic scanning array radars. Dual L-band radars ?036?-1-01 provide increased angular coverage and are ideal for tracking stealth targets and electronic warfare. AFAR radars are not only more powerful than passively scanned antenna designs, but they are also much more difficult to jam, ”writes The Military Watch.
At the same time, the publication notes that the L-band extends from 1.0 GHz to 2.0 GHz with a wavelength of 15-30 cm – this is much more than that of X-band radars. It is believed that long-wave radars “see” stealth aircraft better.
When the United States first deployed stealth fighters for high-intensity combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, neutralizing Iraqi long-wave radar precisely because of the threat to stealth aircraft became a key priority at the start of the air campaign.
“I wonder where the Americans counted three AFAR radars at the Su-35. He has complexes on the wingtips that protect the aircraft from means of aviation destruction. Maybe they took these complexes for radars? It is quite possible, but this speaks of their technical illiteracy. The Su-35 is equipped with one radar of the Irbis multi-mode phased array radar, – said the military expert Alexei Leonkov to Gazeta.Ru .
Leonkov noted that of the Russian fighters, a radar with AFAR itself is installed on the Su-57. At the same time, the Su-35 and MiG-35 fighters can use their phased array in both passive and active modes.
“Depending on the combat situation, long-range target detection by the Irbis is in passive mode, so as not to demonstrate the aircraft for detection by ground and other electronic reconnaissance means. The active phase begins when the plane has spotted the target and caught it – the target is captured, the aircraft is guided, information is transmitted to it, and the object is destroyed, ”the expert explained.
The passive phased array antenna works by using microminiature transceivers that are assembled into an array. The object is scanned by the radar beam, the beam is not formed mechanically, due to the movement of the radar antenna, but electronically.
“Active radar is distinguished by the fact that each element of the active array is the emitter. In the passive one, there is only one emitter, but the receivers are a lattice, which makes it possible to increase the efficiency of signal processing, “said Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the magazine Arsenal Otechestvo, a member of the expert council at the Military-Industrial Commission, to Gazeta.Ru .
He also noted that the Su-35 has one phased array radar, but it may have multiple antennas.
“In the nose there is an antenna with a passive phased array, but the antennas of the same radar can be placed in the wing slat, on the side surfaces of the fuselage. Such additional antennas are used for warning systems for targets that are not in the frontal plane. The Su-57 fighter has an AFAR – and the antennas are distributed over the entire surface of the aircraft, they provide all-round visibility. But the common radar is also the same, the information processing system for the radar is also the same, ”said Murakhovsky.
AFAR technology differs in price. According to Western media reports, a fighter’s radar requires 1,000 to 1,800 modules, and the cost of an AFAR becomes unacceptable if the modules cost more than $ 100 each. At the same time, the early modules cost about $ 2 thousand, which did not allow the massive use of AFAR.
Leonkov noted that even the United States does not have radars with an active phased antenna array on all new aircraft.
“On the F-22 and F-35 fighters, they are not the main ones, as they work on targets thanks to the command line – they are directed to the target and they use this information in order not to demonstrate themselves. The F-35 has an optoelectronic guidance system, and it is better equipped electronically than the F-22, ”concludes Leonkov.
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