Russia: The Moscow Criteria

Russian press reports state that four mobile radars have been pressed into service to enhance the defence of Moscow. The announcement was made by Major General Kirill Makarov, the deputy commander of the country’s Aerospace Defence Forces.

The four radars which are to be activated are thought to be 96L6E systems. Built by the Lianozovo Electromechanical Plant, the 96L6E has an Active Electronically Scanned Array antenna. It can be acquired in either a mobile configuration (96L6E), or a tower-mounted version (966A14).

The radar itself is a C-band system which can cover ranges of between five kilometres (three nautical miles) and 300km (162nm). It provides 360° azimuth scanning and angles of elevation between 0° and +20°. In addition, the radar can be used in a sector-scan configuration watching a 120° area with 0°-60° elevation coverage. The radar also has a low-altitude detection mode.

The 96L6E can track up to 100 targets with between three and five false target indications during every 30 minutes of operation. The radar’s architecture uses frequency hopping to provide electronic counter-countermeasures protection.

The 96L6E is used as the target acquisition radar for the S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name ‘SA-21 Growler’) medium-to-high altitude Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system, and can provide target information to S-300 family medium-altitude SAM batteries.

The 96L6E was developed as a replacement for the legacy 96D6 (NATO reporting name ‘Tin Shield’) and 76N6 (NATO reporting name ‘Clam Shell’) target acquisition radars. However, it is thought that the 96L6E systems being acquired to protect Moscow are  stand-alone systems not accompanying S-300 or S-400 SAM batteries. There is no word on when these new radars may formally enter service.

Published by Thomas Withington

Thomas Withington is a writer and analyst specialising in electronic warfare, radar and military communications.

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