Russia begins construction of a new 77YA6 Voronezh-DM Ballistic Missile Early Warning radar in the southwest of the country …
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.
This year’s Aero-India 2013 air show in Bangalore saw Russian radar specialists NNIIRT showcase the export variant of its 1L121 mobile, three-dimensional air defence radar, known as the 1L121-E.
This vehicle-mounted system operates in the Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) segment of the spectrum, and is thought to have a range of circa 49 nautical miles (90 kilometres) when operating with 60º elevation. When the radar’s Field-of-View (FoV) is increased to 90º elevation, it is able to track up to 64 targets, although this brings a range decrease to around eleven nautical miles (20 km).
The accuracy of the 1L121-E is in the region of one degree in elevation and azimuth, while it is capable of performing electronic target classification. In particular, the radar is optimised for the detection of small battlefield targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles, and precision-guided munitions.
The baseline 1L121 radar is not a new system, having debuted in 2011. It is not clear how the 1L-121-E variant differs from the original baseline radar.
In terms of vehicles, the 1L121 has been seen on a number of different chassis in the past, including a MT-LB tracked vehicle and a GAZ-3937 four-wheel drive truck, although the version showcased in India was displayed mounted on a BTR-80 eight-wheel drive armoured personnel carrier.
According to Russian Aerospace Defence Forces spokesperson Alexei Zolotukhin, the country will build three new early warning radars in 2013.
These new systems will be located in the Krasnoyarsk territory of central Siberia, and the Altai territory in southern, central Russia. A third radar will be constructed at Orenburg in south west Russia.
All of these new radars will be 77YA6 Voronezh-DM systems. As reported in December’s ChainHomeHigh, Russia announced that a new 77YA6 Voronezh-DM radar would be online by March 2013, although a spokesperson from the defence ministry declined to specify where this new radar would be located. The 77YA6-DM Voronezh-DM is a low frequency radar operating in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) section of the spectrum. The reported range of the radar is circa 4,200 kilometres (2,267 nautical miles).
Last summer, Russia declared a 77YA6 Voronezh-DM system located at Mishelevka radar station in Irkutsk, south central Siberia, to be operational. This radar is tasked with monitoring the heavens for missile launches from the Pacific Ocean and China. 77YA6-M Voronezh-DM radars have also been constructed at the Pionersky Radar Station in the Russian European enclave of Kaliningrad, and at Armavir Radar Station, south west Russia. A second 77YA6 Voronezh-DM could be constructed at the site in Armavir to provide surveillance coverage lost by the recent decision of Moscow to abandon the Daryal radar (see below) at the Gabala Radar Station in Azerbaijan.
The 77YA6 Voronezh-DM is part of the wider Voronezh family which also includes the 77YA6 Voronezh-M and 77YA6 Voronezh-VP variants. The principle differences between these respective systems is that the former is a three-segment Very High Frequency (VHF) radar, with the latter having a six segment VHF design. The 77YA6 Voronezh-DM, meanwhile, operates in the UHF range.
The 77YA6 Voronezh radars are being rolled out across Russia as part of a wholesale renewal of the country’s air and ballistic missile surveillance network. They replace the legacy Daryal and Dnestr/Dnepr bi-static and conventional phased-array ballistic missile early warning radars which have been in service since the mid-1980s (Daryal) and 1960s (Dnestr/Dnepr).