Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

John
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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby John » 25 Nov 2002 05:05

The Su-30MKI will carry NIIR's N011M X-band Passed Aray Radar with 140km max detection range.
Badar think you are getting the stats confused the stats u quoted are for the basic N-011 radar carried by Su-35 while MKI carries the phased array bars radar which has detection range of 300 km and can engage 8 targets.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 25 Nov 2002 05:06

The Su-30MKI will carry NIIR's N011M X-band Passed Aray Radar with 140km max detection range. It can detect 15 targets, track six of them and engage four.

The passive phased array system operates on X and L band (NATO D & I bands). The tracking performance mentioned is also way too low. There are conflicting reports, but the original SU-27M/SU-35 could track 15 targets, and track-while-scan 8 targets. It could engage 6 targets simultaneously.

Prioritizing the 8 most threatening targets sounds very much like the APG-65 radar used in the F/A-18, which had identical capabilities (only in this regard). One can only wonder if some of the software algorithms that (ex-Hughes Aircraft employee)William Bell provided to the Polish were used here.

The 140KM detection range would apply for fighter sized targets in the class of an F-16. The range was reportedly 80-100KM for an RCS of 2 m^2, and upto 400KM for a 20 m^2 target. An SU-27 fighter was reportedly detected at a range of over 300KM with a variant of the radar. The system also acts like a mini-AWACS by supplying target data to (4?)other fighters.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 25 Nov 2002 05:56

Badar,
Just nitpicking, :) but i believe it is NIIP,NIIR is with Phazotron afaik and those chaps are into the SOkol.And they make the MS,as you have noted.
The Zhuk MS is clearly inferior.Being a conventional gimballed radar,unlike the Bars phased array,it can neither interleave b/w ground to air modes;nor can it instantly "shift" its beam.This apart from the range vs RCS considerations,where the NO11M is clearly superior.
Also the Bars the MKI has,is technically,as an integrated & complete system,not the std russian one.It has a LRDE made,radar computer.And who knows what performance tweaks that brought along with it.Apparently,the computing power(lack)was a performance limitation affecting/hampering russian radars.

Shiv,
4 is correct.Thats a feature,apparently,available on all the Su 30 "long range interceptor series",ie the datalink feature wherein the Su30 acts as an airborne fighter controller.
Re: ranges,thats a big grey area.
Suffice to say,there are big loopholes in most of the stuff on the net.

Simultaneous engagement was at 4.But the MKI deal includes upgrade ability(even avionics,S/W) available to the IAF if we ever exercised the right to lic produce the bird.We did. :)

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 25 Nov 2002 20:53

Apparently,the computing power(lack)was a performance limitation affecting/hampering russian radars.

The performance of the TZ-100 computer on the MIG-29 Fulcrum A's N-019E radar was rated at just 250,000 operations per second. The radar's MTBF was also probably a tenth as the improved variants of the APG radars - this was reported for the SU-27's version of the "Slot Back". This of course is 1980s data.

When the IAF evaluated the Phazatron/NIIP offerings, the computing was probably still lagging behind. Today, with western microprocessors being imported, speeds of 900 million operations per second have been reported. That still lags way behind the latest western offerings for their new generation fighter radars, but would be more than adequate.

BTW, I've heard of simultaneous engagements for the N-011M ranging from 4 targets all the way to 8 targets. The N-011 (the conventional variant)found on the SU-35 engages 6 targets at once. I would hope that the IAF would have upgraded their N-011M Bars to this standard.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Aditya_M » 25 Nov 2002 21:05

The Su-30MKI will carry NIIP's N011M X/L-band Passed Aray Radar called with 140km max detection range. It can detect 15 targets, track six of them and engage four. Some of the major radar modes available are Air2Air: RWS, TWS, LD/SD, CC; Air2Ground: GTD, GTT, GMTI, DBS, PF; Navigation: TA, TF.

It might be interesting to compare it with PLAAF Su-30MKK. It has NIIR's N010M Zhuk-MS X-band Slotted Array radar capable of detecting upto 20 targets to 140km, tracking four of them and engaging two. In addition to all the radar modes available to the IAF Su-30MKI, the MKK has as an extra, Raid Assement and Synthetic Aperture Radar modes.
I dont get it - the Bars doesn't have SAR mode? Or is GMTI same as SAR? If it can detect ships at 400 kms, I'd guess it has either SAR or ISAR for sure...

Also, the N010 can detect more targets at the same distance than the bars? how odd!

Please expand the following acronyms for me:

CC;
GTD - Ground Target Detect?
GTT - Ground Target Track?
DBS
PF
TA
TF.

Thanks

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 25 Nov 2002 21:18

in reality the chances of engaging more than 4 targets at same time in -pak or -sino scenario are quite limited. with just 6 BVR missiles a SU pilot needs to think carefully before shooting at extreme range targets that could just turn and escape easily.

if this were He111s over london ....

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Badar » 25 Nov 2002 21:43

Hi,

John, the N011 Bars on the Su-27M has a range of 140km can detect 12, track 4 and engage 2. The proposed 'definative fit' for the Su-35, the X-band Passive Array N010MF Zhuk-MF has a range of 180km, can detect 30, track 6 and engage 4.

Radar range is a relative thing - typically for fighter aircraft the range quoted is the max detection range for a fighter sized target at high altitude, high subsonic speed and nose on bearing. Add any other 'real world' complexities to the mix - LO technologies, heavy ECM and jamming environment, low altitude of bogies, weather conditions, position of the sun etc; detection ranges can fall all the way down to visual ranges.

The IAF Su-30MKI's N011M can detect 15, track 6 and engage 4 aerial targets. A standard 2 square meter RCS target can be detected at max range of 100km headon, 40 km tailchase. Fighter sized target can be detected at a max range of 140km, a large aircraft like an AWACS at 400km. Large surface features like major buildings etc can be acquired at a max range of 200km while smaller targets like tanks can only be detected out to 50km. For large naval targets like destroyers/Frigates detection range is close to 150km. The radar is capable of engaging motionless targets (like helos) which are normally filtered out by most PD radars. It can also identify air and ground targets using non-cooperative IFF.

As nitin said, all this data is from the Internet and should be taken with a pinch of salt. But I do believe it to be fairly accurate.

Shiv, Nitin, thanks for pointing out the typos. Bars does operate in X as well as L-Band. And MKK's radar manufacturer is NIIR not NIIP. I have edited my previous post.

Nitin, AFAIK NIIR merged with Phazatron and then seperated again as Phazatron-NIIR. Is it part of Phazatron again?

I believe the N011M also has much superior ECCM than the Zhuk-MS.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 25 Nov 2002 21:45

GMTI-Ground Moving Target Indication
GTT-Ground Target Tracking
TA-Terrain AVodiance
TF-" " Following
DBS-Doppler Beam Sharpening
PF-Picture Freeze

CC probably means Close Combat mode or suchlike.

Do a google on each of the above terms for more. :)

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 25 Nov 2002 21:51

Phazotron-NIIR.

To add to Badar's accurate summary..
S/W upgrades are part of the MKI deal,so the NO11M will be still kept sharp!Good for us.'

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Badar » 25 Nov 2002 21:56

Hi,

RWS = Range While Scan
TWS = Track While Scan
LD/SD = Look Down/Shoot Down
RA = Raid Assesment
CC = Close Combat
GTD = Ground Target Detection
GTT = Ground Target Tracking
GTI = Ground Moving Target Indication
DBS = Doppler Beam Sharpening
SAR = Synthetic Aperture Radar
PF = Picture Freeze
TA = Terrain Avoidance
TF = Terrain Following

Aditya, N011M doesnt have SAR modes. Detection range for naval targets is 150km, not 400km.
The MKK's N010M has a SAR mode with 3m resolution. All MKK will have this radar except the first 20 which have an interim N001VE.

Also, the N010 can detect more targets at the same distance than the bars? how odd!

Detection in russian parlance means providing low quality track data (not sufficient for fire control purposes) called "soprovozhdyeniye (track)". In the "perekhvat (Intercept)" mode the radar provides fire control quality data. Finally the pilot can select and attack a subset of the targets being tracked in perkhvat mode.

So how many targets are being detected/tracked/attacked depends upon the processor behind the radar.

George J

Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby George J » 25 Nov 2002 21:58

The traditional designers of fighter radar systems have been NIIR or Nautshno-Issledovatelsky Institut Radiostroyeniya (former OKB-339) in Moscow and NIIP or Nautshno-Issledovatelsky Institut Priborostroyeniya (former OKB-15) in Zhukovsky. In the 1970s and 1980s they both operated under Phazotron, but in the end of the 1980s NIIP detached itself and became a private company specializing especially in air-to-air missile systems.
http://www.sci.fi/~fta/ruaf-3-8.htm

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 25 Nov 2002 22:40

Also, the N010 can detect more targets at the same distance than the bars? how odd!

Detection in russian parlance means providing low quality track data (not sufficient for fire control purposes) called "soprovozhdyeniye (track)". In the "perekhvat (Intercept)" mode the radar provides fire control quality data. Finally the pilot can select and attack a subset of the targets being tracked in perkhvat mode.

So how many targets are being detected/tracked/attacked depends upon the processor behind the radar.


Yup.
But recent efforts are more in line with western standards,which are more or less generic across the board,today.

I believe,per whats been published so far,that the NO11M,in this sense is more or less pretty much similar to western radars in teh general sense.The russians -NIIP,ie,invested a lot of time and energy in developing and implementing the modes and features available on western systems.Partly because of plain business sense.Cant get away with russian specific cesoteric stuff anymore if you depend on exports to survive if not flourish(to begin with).

Folks,
Also again,please take even the NIIR figures with a pinch of salt.
Phazotron is engaged in a bitter battle with NIIP and hence "inflates" a few figures.NIIP did it too,to begin with.Till recent Sukhoi data enforced the *4* target engagement information.(NIIP claimed 4,6..)

Suffice to say,per the information at hand,the Zhuk MS cant detect or lock on(engage) more targets than the NO11M,or at greater ranges.Phazotron,in its information releases,commonly mentions ,2-4,4-6 or even 6-8 targets "engaged".IOW,whats available is 2 and at max 4,but work is in progress to do better.This was similar to what NIIP did in the early days of the Su27M/35 deveopment.Inflated figures thrown about muddling one and all.
Also most of the institutes that supply the peripherals ,computers to NIIP,do the same for NIIR.The claims of "much superior performance" as touted by NIIR in recent years are inflated.The IAF chose the NO11M considering what both NIIR and NIIP had to offer!

But the NIIP product -the NO11M is finally moreorless ready.Been in testing since the mid 90's and launched into production a yr or so back for us.

And it was ,per NIIP,codeveloped(in certain areas) with Indian specialists.

The only Phazotron product which can match the NO11M and which they are touting as superior,is the yet to be developed(despite some reports claiming that its been done-these are wrong) Sokol radar(Zhuk MF-the phased array variant of the Zhuk MS).Its been slated for another derivative of the Su30 family but is yet to be demonstrated to convincing effect.Again the claims are a bit inflated,as in the early days of the NO11 series but much superior performance should not be expected.

The data on the MKI generally taken as credible,and as posted by Badar is from a Janes report (interview) with the Bars designers sometime back,so can be taken as credible.This data has been quoted in several articles .Again they -Bars designers-mention upgrade efforts.The data is dated,so hence we can do a *wink,nod ,nudge* at some aspects but still ok.

The future is AESA but both NIIP and P-NIIR are still battling it out with passive phased array radars.

Regards.
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 25 Nov 2002 23:35

what is the use of this Raid Assessment Mode ?

Does a recce or topcover Su30 flyby a few minutes after a strike , take the SAR imagery and send it back to base ?

i remember seeing a very hazy SAR pic by F15 radar (could have been fuzzed on purpose) and a better one by rafale RBE2 in AFM(?). these things didnt look that hot to me..the tv camera/IR on targeting pods generate much better clarity...though SAR can work thru clouds, smoke and dust.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Harry » 25 Nov 2002 23:42

Just for the record,the info available at BR on the N-011M Bars is first hand info. :)

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 25 Nov 2002 23:46

The IAF Su-30MKI's N011M can detect 15, track 6 and engage 4 aerial targets.

It should be more like track 15 targets in the track alone mode. In the TWS mode, the number of tracked targets would reduce of course, though the number might be 8 targets rather than just 6 targets.

Phazotron,in its information releases,commonly mentions ,2-4,4-6 or even 6-8 targets "engaged".IOW,whats available is 2 and at max 4,but work is in progress to do better.

If the SBI-16 Zaslon on the MiG-31 engages 4 targets at once, and tracks up to 10 targets - then I doubt that the much later NIIP effort would be any the less of a system. Granted, the Zaslon is made by Leninets, not NIIP/Phazatron - but I'd feel that the radar performance of the N-011M Bars would be closer to the N-011 figures.

Of course, not everyone believes the Russian figures, though engaging 6 targets at once was also attributed to some of the older versions of the F-14/Phoenix combination - and the radar tech was acquired by the Russians through espionage. So it doesn't strike me as a bad figure at all, given the much superior computing power available to NIIP today.

with just 6 BVR missiles a SU pilot needs to think carefully before shooting at extreme range targets that could just turn and escape easily.

The SU-27 could carry 10 missiles - and of course, that number can be increased. Given the low weight and compact size of the R-77, far more than 6 BVR missiles may be carried at the IAF's discretion. It really depends on the mission - but the technical capability to engage 6 targets at once or carry 10 BVR missiles is a non-issue. It can be done. It would be interesting to know what has been done thus far in both matters.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Badar » 26 Nov 2002 00:49

Hi,

I dont think there is much practical tactical utility in having a radar capable of simultaneous engaging more than four widely dispered aerial targets. If IAF does decide to follow the double-tap ARH/IRH method for the MKI, then engaging about three targets might be the practical limit based on nominal warload carried. Ofcourse some extreme situation can be conjured up which requires the capability to engage more than four targets but it is open to question weather the additional capability is generally worth the expense.

But the capability to track as many targets as possible 10, 20, 30 (as in the Zhuk-MF) or more is welcome as they provide the pilots and anyone else being fed via datalink with better SA.

Rudra, Raid Assesment Mode is a Air2Air mode, it is NOT a Air2Ground BDA mode. This mode is quite useful in the early parts of an intercept when the target detected is very far off. Generally at extreme ranges it is hard to tell if the target being tracked is a single aircraft or a collection of aircraft flying very close together. Aircraft flying close together generate a single radar return on hostile radars and mislead them into underestimating the number of aircraft involved in an attack. The Raid assement mode works by tracking the target at full power but occasionally scanning the area all around it and using doppler beam sharpning in an attempt to determine if multiple aircraft exist in the vicinity of the bogie.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 26 Nov 2002 01:38

IAF SUs would certainly carry 4 agile SRAAMs both as a insurance against being jumped at short range and to close and finish if LRAAMS are evaded and enemy wants a fight. the Pk of LRAAMS aint great in many situations. I recall some Iraqi Mig25s having a merry day soaking up AAMs but escaping.

even F15s carry a couple of Aim9s, though mostly amraams.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 01:40

Hi,

If the SBI-16 Zaslon on the MiG-31 engages 4 targets at once, and tracks up to 10 targets - then I doubt that the much later NIIP effort would be any the less of a system. Granted, the Zaslon is made by Leninets, not NIIP/Phazatron - but I'd feel that the radar performance of the N-011M Bars would be closer to the N-011 figures

Zaslon,afaik,is also from the Tikhimirov ie NIIP lineage.In fact the same bunch of designers kicked off the Bars.
Again to clarify,Phazotron is now a co-affair with NIIR and operates independently from NIIP.Their products being the Zhuk series and more recently the Kopyo on our 21-Bisons.
The Zaslon performance was and is impressive,but the data on the MKI radar is from the horse's mouth Sukhoi.The "revelations" of TWS 6 and engagement of 4 are more recent.The 4 target enagement was confirmed by Sukhoi itself all along.

Of course, not everyone believes the Russian figures, though engaging 6 targets at once was also attributed to some of the older versions of the F-14/Phoenix combination - and the radar tech was acquired by the Russians through espionage.

Just to clarify..
Shiv,the espionage thing as made out by the Americans and nearly everyone else especially wrt Russia,is way over stated.The russians have done things their way for some time and way differently.

Apart from the Swedes,a bunch of secretive blokes by themselves,no nation has utilised the concept of datalinked fighter packages as efficiently and absolutely as the russians have done.The yanks told the world all along,that the no19 on the MiG29 was a ripoff,in part from the APG set on the F/A18.They also painted the town red with lurid claims of the technology stolen and its vital importance....the end of the cold war proved that the NO19 was nothing like what the chaps had postulated and was moreorless a limited radar which made up for its weaknesses by tieing up with a centralized,far reaching GCI system which transmitted target data,track while scan information etc via datalink.

Net,its more worthwhile to look at Russian attempts and their work at technology from their viewpoint,ie what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go.

The difference is,that now,economics dictate their weapons development.In the past,if the IAF wanted something specific,they'd have to wait for ages; only if the weapons designers thought it'd fit the russian needs as well,to boot.
So we really cant say,that "xyz" tech transferred via espionage and that is on "nvx" weapons system. :)

To add:

The importance of range vs RCS is primarily for the usage of SARH missiles.Can guide them way before you yourself are in turn under threat.
Again,whether passive or active (or conventional)theres only so much raw energy a radar can put out and SARH missile guidance ,till terminal phase,takes a lot of it.I dont think in SARH mode the radar can individually guide 4 missiles to separate targets.
Of course,with R77's there would be no such problems.

Badar,

But the capability to track as many targets as possible 10, 20, 30 (as in the Zhuk-MF) or more is welcome as they provide the pilots and anyone else being fed via datalink with better SA.

Hi the NO11M afaik detects 15.Ph-NIIR are claimingthat the MF/Sokol will detect 30.Lets wait and watch. :)

Both radars are stated to have TWS/Engagement at 6/4 each.So evenly matched here.

Rudra, Raid Assesment Mode is a Air2Air mode, it is NOT a Air2Ground BDA mode. This mode is quite useful in the early parts of an intercept when the target detected is very far off. Generally at extreme ranges it is hard to tell if the target being tracked is a single aircraft or a collection of aircraft flying very close together. Aircraft flying close together generate a single radar return on hostile radars and mislead them into underestimating the number of aircraft involved in an attack. The Raid assement mode works by tracking the target at full power but occasionally scanning the area all around it and using doppler beam sharpning in an attempt to determine if multiple aircraft exist in the vicinity of the bogie.

To add,RA is avery useful feature for "limited radars" for "light fighters" which simply dont have the power(both energy o/p and processing) to discriminate b/w tightly packed targets.And hence use software and radar tweaks to do th needful.For biggies like the Bars or even the MS,this shouldnt matter much!
I sometimes wonder what would happen to a Falcon,even if EM protected,if a Bars went "full power" at it.
The RWR should blow up,at the very least.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 01:50

Wrt Missile carriage,

... given the need of the situation,i dont think any Su30 going against the PAF,will carry more than a load of (say) 4BVR missiles and an equal no of aRCHERS.Frankly,the pakis dont have anything we'd want to throw more at.It'd be overkill even by overkill standards.

Bye bye PAF anyway.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 02:15

So we really cant say,that "xyz" tech transferred via espionage and that is on "nvx" weapons system.

Wouldn't imply that... What I'm saying is that the Soviets had the technology all along. In the past, their very poor computing might have been a limiting performance, but today - given their ability to both build better microprocessors as well as buy western chips, the capability to match the AWG-9 in tracking and simultaneous engagement performance would be a cakewalk.

Shiv,the espionage thing as made out by the Americans and nearly everyone else especially wrt Russia,is way over stated.The russians have done things their way for some time and way differently.

Still, espionage allowed the Russians to study the Fast Fourier algorithms used by Hughes Aircraft, and progress in some ways - almost certainly in the EW area. The Russians themselves are awesome programmers, who were using more advanced programming techniques than previously believed. And they do their own research as well. Note that the Zaslon preceded the APQ-164 by 3 years at least. It was revolutionary for a fighter radar.

You are right about the Russians doing things quite differently. The MiG-29 and SU-27 featured a virtually unique passive system for fighting when they first emerged. Plus, the Soviets did do a lot of ground-based processing and followed different interception methods.

About the N-019 - Bell's radar espionage came in too late to help the Russians copy the APG-65 for the MiG-29, as was claimed by the west. As proof of this, the N-019 had no surface modes, while the APG-65 had a number of useful modes here. Some of its technology now might have gone into the N-010 and later designs.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 02:41

Still, espionage allowed the Russians to study the Fast Fourier algorithms used by Hughes Aircraft, and progress in some ways - almost certainly in the EW area. The Russians themselves are awesome programmers, who were using more advanced programming techniques than previously believed. And they do their own research as well. Note that the Zaslon preceded the APQ-164 by 3 years at least. It was revolutionary for a fighter radar.

You are right about the Russians doing things quite differently. The MiG-29 and SU-27 featured a virtually unique passive system for fighting when they first emerged. Plus, the Soviets did do a lot of ground-based processing and followed different interception methods.
Yes,but the Russians dont lack anything either in the mathematics or say "fast fourier transforms arena" themselves.Any chap who's read the Greek and Latin the Russians have done reams on,during his engineering could testify to that.Even further back,there was Irudhov.(sp..?) :)

On a serious note,most western texts still attempt to pass off soviet technology or adavancement as ripoffs of comparable/superior western systems.We still sometimes,mimic that assumption,which might lead to errors in our calculation.
As good as Soviet espionage was, i bet there were enough times when the Yanks gleaned something too.Then again,theres the whole stealth issue -y'know Russian article on the same kicking off US research...
Even in EW,the russians fielded a plethora of dedicated and effective assets.

And in say,some field like all encompassing Ground Based Air Defense Systems,or simply networked SAM's...the west never made anything remotely capable.

About the N-019 - Bell's radar espionage came in too late to help the Russians copy the APG-65 for the MiG-29, as was claimed by the west. As proof of this, the N-019 had no surface modes, while the APG-65 had a number of useful modes here. Some of its technology now might have gone into the N-010 and later designs
To add:
The russians wouldnt have copied the APG65!They were too busy trying to build a common range of systems based on the Mech(or Myech) NOO1 Cassegrain antenna radar on the Su27.It itself was a bit disappointing,but still!
Espionage,more often than not,gives an insight into the "enemy's mind" rather than give any revolutionary access to technology a la Firefox.
By the time the Russian radars entered the MiG29/Su27 phase,an extensive system of GCI/Datalinkage had alreay been built up.Hence,new systems(radars) would be built to coexist and work with the existing system rather than reinvent the wheel,a la the west.This is something most western accounts neglect to mention.If it aint broke,dont fix it.
And in part explains the bewilderment of the avarage NATO type who looked into a Soviet cockpit or analysed its avaionics,with several key functions missing(to be done by ground based units and passed onto the a/c.)

Whats coming out today,is more in line with what customers want and is also benefitting from abit of official aid itself.Kopyo ,for example,itself dated now,as it was the first of P-NIIR's new designs-works with Thomson-CSF Processors.

Remaining design requirements are generic and given the end of the cold war,information flowss far more freely than before.

Of course,certain purpose bult "top programs" like the Bars are more or less "Mother Russia" all the way.But even then,they did agree to incorporate the Indian comp.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 26 Nov 2002 02:44

going full power active seem deprecated now. high range IRST will be available on Rafale & EF (?) backed by AWACS data. same for Phalcon-MKI tag team.

carrying more missiles is useful if AAR used. The link in IAF News Folder posted today about upgrades gathering steam mention Jags and Mig27s will get AAR installed.

That will mean about 300 AAR equipped fighters in IAF in 2010 timeframe. 100 each of Jags, Mig27,MKI. dont know about -29s,M2ks but sorely needed.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 03:02

Rudra yes.But hell,we're facing the PAF.So do what ye will with that big big radar.
The MKI can swagger about-"The tiger roars,the jackal scampers" :D :p ..to extend a Kenneth Anderson title of yesteryears.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 26 Nov 2002 03:30

nitin, radar silence will still be of use inside Pak after their main GCI radars get knocked AND inside india against deep strikes.

amboosh :D - classic indu cowards tactic. else their
RWRs would detect Mki radar at long range allowing
strategic withdrawal into balu,iran and points west.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 03:47

The russians wouldnt have copied the APG65!They were too busy trying to build a common range of systems based on the Mech(or Myech) NOO1 Cassegrain antenna radar on the Su27.It itself was a bit disappointing,but still!

Not if Alexander Velovich (a former tech specialist/programmer at Mikoyan) would have his way! :p Plus, rather than copying the whole system, it is more likely that they would improve their designs with newer programs, open architecture...that sort of thing. For instance, the Americans themselves were using their old radars...but with upgraded components and software. The APG-63 was first ready in 1973, but it's designers realized that the system needed to grow or risk obsolescence. In 1979, they redeveloped the radar with open architecture methods to allow easy upgrades.

And so they kept enhancing their old designs this way...The Russians were pretty much on the same track. Note the numerous variants of the N-019. So further software upgrades would be the right way to go.

Hence,new systems(radars) would be built to coexist and work with the existing system rather than reinvent the wheel,a la the west.This is something most western accounts neglect to mention.If it aint broke,dont fix it.

The Russians practiced a very different system of interception, as you yourself have noted. But they were more open to NATO methods than you would imagine, and were developing their strategy, particularly after the brutal shock of the Afghan War (which caused the Soviets to rethink their methods, and innovate ... like the Vietnam War forced the USAF into new strategies).

Their reliance on ground-based processing was largely due to their weak computing and their old system -- but this did not keep them from completely avoiding the western route. Rather, they created designs after very carefully evaluating western equipment and tactics - and were aware of their own shortcomings as well.

So, having a radar which blended some of the capacity of the APG series, and then was still tied to ground control is not that odd. In fact, that's precisely the route that they ultimately wound up taking - consider the more advanced MiG-29 variants such as the Mig-29M. As their processing and software grew better, the plane blossomed into a far more capable beast by their own reckoning. And the seeds of the development were planted in the 1980s - when the USSR still existed with its rigid ways.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 04:05

Yes,but the Russians dont lack anything either in the mathematics or say "fast fourier transforms arena" themselves.Any chap who's read the Greek and Latin the Russians have done reams on,during his engineering could testify to that.Even further back,there was Irudhov.(sp..?)

No doubt that Russian scientific capabilities were/are excellent ... but the Americans had some good insights into their radar tech through a mole, and also other sources of espionage. In fact, Soviet radar designs also got compromised, and the Soviets reworked some of their systems.
Now American analysts estimated that Soviet researchers were saved 5 years of research, valued at approximately $185 million. Given the fact that the N-019E had such limited processing and was so poorly rated by the Germans, I'd say that sounds about right. Also, a Czech analyst had independently reviewed the Russian radar on the SU-27 - and gave it pretty low marks. So the 5 year gap sounds decent enough here.

Not that I am taking away anything from the Russian designers...but they got a boost anyhow. Also, from the EW perspective, knowing how the radar "thinks" is the one sure way of developing effective countermeasures.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 04:47

Not if Alexander Velovich (a former tech specialist/programmer at Mikoyan) would have his way!

The 27 and 29,if anything are moreorless design clones in a manner of speaking with the aerodynamics and the avionics both reflecting their common heritage.And both drew upon decades of experience and design ability,so what would one chap do or not? :)

If one mans account is to be believed,hell,we could buy everything Suvorov said. :D

Tell you what after the first few days of spanking itself,the PAF will do a 71 and disappear into the Houris dens.And our boys will be flying about,doing everything,just to get them pesky critters to take off.Again 71.

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 05:19

The concept was not as much tied to weak computing-a pure technical consideration which they could have overcome-as much as to their concept of the "A/c" being a directed weapon.And as things went,they felt that the direction could be done by the GCI itself,having better SA through the means at their disposal-networked radar arrays.

Nitin,
The Soviet AF was literally a series of air forces, with rather divided units. Now they are integrating everything to remove redundancy and reduce costs. But before the PVO-VVS tie up, the two were quite distinct, and had somewhat different approaches. From what I gathered (from an insider's account), the VVS was more keen on learning to be independent, while the PVO was heavily GCI-based and more old school.

The NATO strategy is rather broad, but it did involve far less reliance on GCI methods, large amounts of fighter pilot autonomy, and the use of AWACS. So more processing was done in the air. It's interesting that in the mid-90s, the IAF chief at the time had mentioned the direction of the IAF, claiming it was somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of ground control-based battling and USAF style fighter pilot autonomy(this was reported in the AW&ST, if I'm not mistaken). Naturally, this statement may be wholly obsolete by today.

I suspect that the Soviets (at least VVS) might have been trying to go there too with the MiG-29M, which unfortunately was too costly a change for Mikoyan to handle after the Soviet collapse(and hence we get other MiG-29 variants which use a part of the MiG-29M's technology).

IMO, the Soviets could not handle the technical issues of air-based processing all that well largely because they did not focus strongly on computer chip technology. They simply met the threat by creating unique solutions that allowed them to get away with less fighter pilot autonomy. I gathered this from some of Velovich's statements.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 05:35


Regarding the NO19..why *would* it need processing?The mech and the NO19 would always operate with BIryuza and Lazur around.Feeing data in and providing TWS information.


I suspect that someone in the VVS was clever enough to see that the Soviet system was heavily defense-oriented and reliant on relatively immobile radars that could be knocked out. This, while the Yanks could fly more freely of ground systems due to greater pilot autonomy. It also might simply have been a "keeping up with the Joneses" phenomenon.

Plus, if the technology is available - then why not incorporate it into a Mig or Sukhoi? A more versatile fighter will try to be more independent of other aircraft, and of ground-based systems. It means being less tied down to other systems that could potentially be damaged or malfunctioning. So the answer to your question "WHY?" could also be a matter of product improvement...

185 million is peanuts compared to what the Russians and Yanks actually put in.I'd like to see those reports.Are there any links to them?

I do have some links, but let me respond on this later. I initially read about this in some books about Soviet espionage, though. Rather liked this topic.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby John » 26 Nov 2002 06:08

Detection range for naval targets is 150km, not 400km.
I don't think you have any idea what you are talking about unless have more information than builder, BR and everyone else of MKI. They all puts its range against naval targets at 400 km thats why brahmos will be carried by MKI bars radar's range will allow it fully expolit its capability.

"Powerful general-purpose onboard phased-array radar ensures a 20 m resolution detection of large sea targets at a distance up to 400 km, and of small size ones - at a distance of 120 km."
http://eng.irkut.ru/production/military/su30mki.shtml

Aditya, N011M doesnt have SAR modes.
Most russian sources and BR say N-011M does have SAR which is well known fact.
http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Info/Aircraft/Su-30.html
"Ground surveillance modes include mapping (with Doppler beam sharpening), search & track of moving targets, synthetic aperture radar and terrain avoidance."

In terms of radar range MKI has currently the largest among any operational fighter plane its only nearest competitor will be APG-79 on F-18 becomes operational around 2005.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 08:50

If one mans account is to be believed,hell,we could buy everything Suvorov said

It's interesting to note that the N-019 did evolve with several features found in the APG-65 design. I think that if you were with the Soviet AF you'd want it, after experiencing the limiting N-019E.

The Old Myech radar was never meant for the kind of continuous upgrade the Americans envisaged for their fighter's.As a result they have had to create bypass channel/s for the radar which add new capabilities while bypassing the baseline radar and its processing.Hardly modular.This approach was hardly what they contemplated in their heydays.Then they would have just taken the basic concept,a bit of the electronics and gone and designed a new one.Money,manpower no problem.

In 1979 the Americans were the first to try out open architecture methods. Once the Soviets acquired the details, it would only be a matter of time before they would try out the technology - even if just to master the technology. Remember, money was not a huge issue until the late 1980s. I remember reading about the Americans using a double agent to sell a prototype of an Army system that looked promising but was unworkable. The Soviets were reported to have spent millions trying to replicate it (unsucessfully).

Plus keep in mind, the APG-65 was state-of-the-art when the Soviets got the technology details. So the likelihood of not using the system technologies for product improvement would be unusual.

The integration of a baseline 1553 databus system on the MKI itself was a first and took IAPO quite a bit of effort and time.

The Russians used open architecture methods before the SU-30MKI project, whilst developing the MiG-I.42/MFI. Plus, the point was that they could use the radar software and processing techniques in a "new" version of the N-019 -- and might have used some of the technology in the newer N-019 variants and the N-010.

So different strokes for different folks and hence differing approaches.
Merely comparing radar types is of no use,when the systems they work in are different.


True only to a point. The rate of false returns for the N-019 was much higher versus an APG-65. Also the MTBF was about 10 times worse (for the early versions). Plus, ground control based interception is more restrictive, and makes the system more "defensive". That was the primary Soviet doctrine as well - but it also can be cumbersome.

The Soviets had come to view NATO reliance on AWACS as their weak point, and developed tactics to shoot the AWACS out of the sky. Now, a ground-based system is relatively immobile, and could wind up being an easy target.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 26 Nov 2002 09:27

what is the feasibility of a 200-plane teach a lesson raid on ONE selected big Pak target - like Sui or Karachi.

should be a heavily defended area so that numbers of opposing interceptors can be bagged before the ground objectives get plastered.

Without Phalcons can india co-ordinate a night raid by 200 a/c taking off from 10 airbases with various roles, payloads and timings ?

It could be used as a propaganda coup in a short sharp conflict.

Say 30 M2ks, 60 Mig27s, 10 Mig23 jammers, 40 Jags
== 140 for strike mission in phases over a single night.

30 SU30, 30 Mig29 for top cover == 60.

AAR would be helpful to maintain high number of top cover fighters to swamp any takeoffs.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 13:44

Originally posted by shiv_brasnan:
[QB]If one mans account is to be believed,hell,we could buy everything Suvorov said

It's interesting to note that the N-019 did evolve with several features found in the APG-65 design. I think that if you were with the Soviet AF you'd want it, after experiencing the limiting N-019E.
The point is not whether the Soviet AF would want it,but whether the APG65 did far more than what the datalinked sensor n/w could do in conjunction with the NO19.The answer is no.Not worth the time,money or the expense,reshaping the entire system.Whether this restricts tactical intitiative and the limitations of the system..etc are a whole different issue altogether.

The Old Myech radar was never meant for the kind of continuous upgrade the Americans envisaged for their fighter's.As a result they have had to create bypass channel/s for the radar which add new capabilities while bypassing the baseline radar and its processing.Hardly modular.This approach was hardly what they contemplated in their heydays.Then they would have just taken the basic concept,a bit of the electronics and gone and designed a new one.Money,manpower no problem.

In 1979 the Americans were the first to try out open architecture methods. Once the Soviets acquired the details, it would only be a matter of time before they would try out the technology - even if just to master the technology. Remember, money was not a huge issue until the late 1980s. I remember reading about the Americans using a double agent to sell a prototype of an Army system that looked promising but was unworkable. The Soviets were reported to have spent millions trying to replicate it (unsucessfully].

Plus keep in mind, the APG-65 was state-of-the-art when the Soviets got the technology details. So the likelihood of not using the system technologies for product improvement would be unusual.
Again you're proceeding with the assumption that:
a)If the Americans wanted it,so would the Russians
b)Espionage...

See,the Russians didnt need open architecture.Nor did they try to implement the same in any earlier iteration of the Su27or MiG29 series.Even the MKK doesnt have the same per western std's.Why bother with modular systems when all y're gonna hang on the bird are weapons systems purpose designed for the same?And you can keep replacing old systems with new ones?Unlike the IAF which will want to use Russian AAM's,French bombs,Isrealis deisgnators/FLIR all on the same a/c.And keep the a/c around for its entire lifetime ,upgrading it with MLU's.The Russians could purpose design everything from scratch.Wasteful?Perhaps.But this was the chosen method to retain expertise and sustain a bunch of a/c and weapons systems bureaus.

The integration of a baseline 1553 databus system on the MKI itself was a first and took IAPO quite a bit of effort and time.

The Russians used open architecture methods before the SU-30MKI project, whilst developing the MiG-I.42/MFI. Plus, the point was that they could use the radar software and processing techniques in a "new" version of the N-019 -- and might have used some of the technology in the newer N-019 variants and the N-010.
For all purposes the avionics on the MKI are the closest the MFI will ever get to reality.Till the "5th generation" thing takes off.If.

.

You just cant rip off s/w techniques and use it to upgrade the older baseline radars.They have purpose built systems and hardware,totally incompatible with what the west was doing.The system,was a *permanent*,no windows plug and play devices.The nearest it got to any modularity and built in serviceabilty was a limited amount of self test equipment; hardly as comprehensive as what we expect today as BITE.

Ask IAPO again as to their issues with even ADA,which has been around for donkey's years.Or their effort in writing a "western style" digital FCS.The MKI is the only russian a/c to have it,in service.Even ada,and serious efforts to write in it and use the same only got off after the FSU collapse.

They are doing excellent work.That goes without sayin.But they never saw the need to do exactly that earlier.

So different strokes for different folks and hence differing approaches.
Merely comparing radar types is of no use,when the systems they work in are different.


True only to a point. The rate of false returns for the N-019 was much higher versus an APG-65. Also the MTBF was about 10 times worse (for the early versions). Plus, ground control based interception is more restrictive, and makes the system more "defensive". That was the primary Soviet doctrine as well - but it also can be cumbersome.
MTBF has more to do with materials technology and production methods.In fact,it is *this* area where teh Soviets did benefit from western expertise rather than all myth making about espionage efforts saving them a zillion bucks etc.(The same western analsysts claim that the AGni INS is a German space agency ripoff etc..)The Soviets spent a lot of time mimicking and trying to get western CNC machinery into their shopfloors through hook or crook.And they succeeded.Also MTBF being low are due to the fact the usage contemplated was hardly what would be the norm in the IAF or NATO.Plane got old?
Scrap the bird.Radar doesnt work?Scrap it.

Cumbersome or not,that was the approach they chose.In a highly chaotic scenario,as they expected a full scale NATO-WP war to be,the only means forth was to deploy such systems,with good ECCM and effective communication.Which would compensate for the limited "means" available to the pilot.

Who cares about the radar limitations when the Biruza/Lazur are there as primary sensors?

And "defensive"; thats a generic statement.Again viewed through the prism of pilot initiative etc which we tend to hold as the grail.Not always true.
The System would do what it was designed to do.
Intercept targets and keep airspace clear of enemy threats.The MiG29 was exactly that.Keep the airspace for the airbases clear.Not some fancy air superiority fighter as the west postulated it to be.For that they had the Su 27,and that too customised to Russian needs.

So if the intention is to keep the skies clean,and that need comes when the "enemy" tries the opposite,wheres the question of defensive or offensive?

Theres a differnce between a CAP and a fighter sweep.And if we were to say that a CAP isnt offensive,whats the point,when its not intended to be offensive?

The 29 was in the CAP business,as designed.And a Soviet version of CAP,wherein the network detected the target,vectored the 29 in afew instnts of time,got it to fire its BVR armamant,and got it down.Depending on whether other components were in place or not,the 29 would be given permission for a close kill.That possibiity itself ensured the best close range armament system in the world.Radar+IRST+LRF+Gsh+Archer+HMCS.Till date,that remains the best approach ever made.

The Soviets had come to view NATO reliance on AWACS as their weak point, and developed tactics to shoot the AWACS out of the sky. Now, a ground-based system is relatively immobile, and could wind up being an easy target
So ?Both sides would target each others centralized decision making apparatus.

The NATO reliance on AWACS didnt make them any more vulnerable than the Russian reliance on secure datalinked networks.

Both were systems with a central node and hence that node would be the primary focus of any attack.And saying that ground based immobile station are easy targets is fallacious.Because the Polnye or for that matter,the Biryuza and Lazur systems are road mobile.

They are transportable by their own specialized transports and in fact they are more or less used in the same manner.Huge trucks linked to radars and operating in whichever area need be.And transported to the next zone.

The entire system has several layers of redundancy.Knocking off one C and C centre wouldnt do squat.The Lazur could,to a degree interoperate with the others and vice versa.Same for the other systems.All AD systems were tied into the same.Not only was the Lazur working with airorne interceptors,it was also feeding data to ground based SAM's and Air Defence Batteries.Knock that off and you face the next layer of redundancy.

Provided you could knock it off.To get to that point you'd have to face layers of SAM's and Anti A/C batteries in "fire bases",each again protected by redundant lines of communication.
By the time you'd get to attacking a particular system,another road mobile emitter could have taken over the target coordination business.
Besides which,by then the network would be "off".

Direct the MiG29 to the air,get it to the point,fire its missiles(yes,the datalink would do that),get it around,kick on afterburners,bak it goes.System goes "off".

And no NATO didnt have the loitering ARM's then.Not that they would have done much against redundant systems.You would have to have huge sorties rates,preceded by massive jamming to clear zones of "neutral space" where air superiority was at least not in the other sides hand.Given that the Russians would have spent enough of their own blood attacking NATO airbases,and using SRBM's/MRB's for the same..that desire was realistic.Unlike what Clancy et al write.

So both sides chose their systems and took them to the maximum they could achieve.When i say different strokes,dont just look at the 29 or the 27 as "new systems".The Lazur for these two was just the latest in a series.The Lazur M for the Su15 for example.They kept improving the datalinks and kept making the a/c avionics to match them.Why bother with making highly expensive,incredibly sophisicated airborne radars when you have spent zillions putting a system in place which does more than what the best airborne fighter radar could do?

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby JCage » 26 Nov 2002 13:48

Hi,
a valhalla like that would be hell to coordinate and worse,be even more vulnerable to sneak attacks.With stand off PGM's and first bomb on target fundae,why bother sending over bomb trucks to plaster the whole area jsut to get one target?

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby bhart » 26 Nov 2002 14:14

A question for Nitinji, What kind of upgrades are being made to the MiG 29s at HAL, and are they being made to the MiG 29B only?

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Rudra » 26 Nov 2002 20:32

I asked because a anglo-US attack on H3 airbase in Iraq early Sept is supposed to have involved 160 aircraft!

teach-a-lesson mode doesnt involve disruption but
total rubble.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby daulat » 26 Nov 2002 21:00

Rudra - 160 aircraft

-------------------------

of which probably 5 tankers, 2 awacs, 5 sigint, 10 EW, 20 CAP, 10 casevac... etc., etc., and probably some rotation of sorties by the support aircraft whilst the main strike groups were airborne. actual numbers of strike aircraft were probably not more than 40-50? (Still a lot!)

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby Aditya_M » 26 Nov 2002 21:06

Thanks nitin for the expansion. And thanks John for backing me up. I did think that not having SAR on a radar as good as this one would be sacrilege!

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 23:23

So ?Both sides would target each others centralized decision making apparatus.

Yes, but if a fighter radar has its own onboard processing, it is far less reliant on other layers. And thereby the better bet when the network goes down.

Knocking off the Russian GCI layer would be no easy task - given the sheer size - but using ground-based processing does still constitute a vulnerability, especially when you consider equipment malfunctioning as well. Even road mobile equipment can be targeted using sophisticated emission detection technologies.

The GCI network did the job of protecting Soviet airspace - but it did not have much flexibility to move Soviet operations elsewhere. That's why I call it "defensive" - because it is far more grounded within a particular theatre, whereas the USAF worked on being more mobile for worldwide operations.

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Re: Sensor capabilities of IAF aircraft

Postby pierce_k_brossnynn » 26 Nov 2002 23:34

The point is not whether the Soviet AF would want it,but whether the APG65 did far more than what the datalinked sensor n/w could do in conjunction with the NO19.

As far as radar capability, the Mathias Rust episode shows the high rate of false returns that plagued Soviet radar designs. A MiG-23 pilot did detect Rust’s aircraft, but was told by ground control that it was probably a flock of birds. So technologically upgrading Soviet radar would have been an apt thing to do. The Bell/Zacharsky espionage allowed the Soviets to do the same.

For the Russians to avoid the benefits of onboard processing and fighter autonomy because they had this massive network is like limiting flexibility despite having the capability to do better. Given their competitive spirit and paranoid nature, I doubt that they would pass up the opportunity to develop a radar system equivalent to (and perhaps better than) the APG-65, which was state-of –the art when the details were acquired.

Whether the Soviet AF would adopt the system might have more to do with the differences between the PVO and the VVS. The VVS was less of a follower of the true-and-tried system, and more exploitative of new tactics. GCI would not go away; but that still does not rule out reducing fighter interdependence, blending new tactics into an old system, or having the VVS take a different route from the PVO. The USAF also used GCI in the 1960s (the SAGE system, which had 22 nodes) – but evolved a different mode of fighting. That might not have been lost on the Soviets altogether.

The MiG-29M featured air-ground radar capabilities, and many more modes than the N-019E/N-019EA designs. Now this aircraft was originally tested in the late 1980s – so it does indicate the direction of thinking even back then. Judging the specs, the radar looks more like a western multimode set vs. the early N-019 -- an early variant was said to have just 3 modes. Can you confirm that?


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