The Iranian publication Akharin Khabar drew attention to one curious point in relations between Russia and NATO. The announcement that the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the construction of a continuous radar field near the country’s borders was made immediately before the NATO summit, at which the problem of the “threat of Russian invasion” and methods of protection against it were to be discussed.
Russia, therefore, sent a clear signal to the alliance.
Contradictions between Russia and NATO continue to grow. And they have almost reached, as the Iranian publication notes, the level of the Cold War. Therefore, the strengthening of defensive lines for Russia is a completely natural and inevitable matter. Moreover, according to Akharin Khabar, the new developments of the Russian defense industry once and for all will neutralize the threats of NATO.
So what kind of field are we talking about? The fact is that two years ago it was announced that Russia had finally surrounded itself with a continuous radar field. This field is formed by long-range radar and high factory readiness Voronezh. At the moment there are nine, on the tenth. Stations are different in characteristics – centimeter (the most accurate, allowing target designation of anti-aircraft missiles and fighter-interceptors), decimeter, meter (having the largest viewing sector in azimuth and elevation), high-potential (broadband, presumably having a millimeter range). The viewing range of each station reaches 6,000 km, and the altitude is 4,000 km.
Stations are installed throughout the country – from its western part to the Far East. And they create an inextricable radar field, which was violated in the 90s due to the location of the radar in the territories of the republics that separated from Russia and became unusable. However, these were previous generation radars with less efficiency. They consumed tremendous power – up to 50 MW and higher (at Voronezh – 0.7 MW). Their construction continued for more than five years (Voronezh is assembled from containers manufactured at the plant for 1.5–2 years).
Voronezh stations operate the Missile Attack Warning System (SPRN). Each of them is capable of detecting and tracking up to five hundred targets moving at high altitude. As a rule, these are ballistic missiles of various ranges – from small to intercontinental.
But “Voronezh” cannot “peer” over the horizon. These radars are not available low-flying cruise missiles, which can be equipped with nuclear warheads. Therefore, over-the-horizon radars, which are represented by the Container stations in Russia, are of significant relevance. Of course, fighters and bombers flying with the envelope of the terrain will not hide behind this horizon. It is also connected to the SPRN.
The operation of over-the-horizon radars is based on the effect of enveloping the surface with shortwave radio waves and the subsequent reflection of waves from the ionosphere. The radio waves returned to the receiving antennas contain information about aircraft flying over the horizon.
I must say that statements about continuous over-the-horizon radar observation are somewhat exaggerated. In the country, at the beginning of the zero years, they began to build two Container radars. One in the Far East. But it has not yet been launched. The second – in Mordovia – was put on pilot combat duty exactly a year ago. But before that, she, already collected, passed the tests for about 10 years. And now the radar has been transferred to combat duty.
However, this information is contradictory. Absolutely the same thing – about the beginning of pilot combat duty – the Ministry of Defense reported in December 2013. Last year – again. Apparently, over the 5 years between the two productions, the radar was finalized. This can be judged, for example, by a significant increase in the review sector.
The range of the “Container” is 3000 kilometers. The viewing sector is 240 degrees, before – 180 degrees. The number of targets followed is more than 3000.
The station consists of a receiving part and a transmitting one. The receiving part is located in the Mordovian village of Kovylkino. The receiver consists of 144 antenna masts 35 meters high. The masts are located on a site 1300 meters long and 200 meters wide.
The transmitting part is located at a distance of 300 kilometers – near Gorodets of the Nizhny Novgorod region. The operating frequency range of the transmitter forming the radar wave is from 3 MHz to 30 MHz.
“Container” is a unique station. During acceptance tests, it was confirmed that the Container sees even small objects such as unmanned aerial vehicles in depths of up to 3,000 kilometers. Specialists of the NII DAR, the developers of the radar, showed the members of the commission of the Ministry of Defense how a small airfield operates in Norway, from which light 2-3 local planes fly. True, the “Container”, unlike the “Voronezh”, is not able to look into space. But the enormous advantage of an over-the-horizon radar is that it can detect objects located beyond the radio horizon. Conventional stations propagating radio waves in a straight line are incapable of this.
The time spent on the construction of the “Container” does not exceed one and a half years. The cost of the first station, taking into account development costs, is 10 billion rubles. Subsequent should be cheaper.
In turn, as mentioned above, a station in the Far East. And then two more will be built – in the north-western and southern directions. When all 4 radars are put into operation, the horizontal horizon radar field will become inextricable. According to the plan, this should happen in 2025.
In addition to the “Container,” other types of over-the-horizon radars are used in Russia, which have less universalism and less capabilities; they are not included in the SPRN. These include the station “Sunflower” – trans-horizon radar surface wave.
The popularity of such radars has increased recently in connection with the need to tighten control of 200-mile economic zones in order to prevent piracy, smuggling, illegal fishing. Of course, such radars have high military potential associated with the notification of the preparation of sabotage, military provocations or armed invasions. At the same time, there is constant monitoring not only of the sea surface, but also of the air environment. Surface wave radars are sometimes called coastal, because they are located precisely on the coast near the state border. Currently, there are three “Podsolnukh” on alert – in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan, and also in the Caspian Sea.
The maximum observation range of the “Podsolnukh” reaches 500 km. Viewing angle – 120 degrees. The number of simultaneously accompanied surface objects – 300, air – 100. Deployment time – 10 days. The service team is 3 people. Power consumption – 200 kW.