Friday, September 18, 2009

Zhuk-AE is ready for fight

Russian Phasotron corporation reports Sep. 17 , that it has finished the testing program for Zhuk-AE AESA radar. The detection range for a standard aerial target is 148 km and in the perspective it will be raised to 200 km. The Phasotron's General Director Victor Tishchenko said that one of the Indian MMRCA tender request is an AESA radar with 130 km detection range. So, Zhuk-AE fulfills this request, he says. 
Seemingly, Zhuk-AE is the first non-american AESA radar for fighter jets ready for use. The others still remain 'paper radars' in many aspects.


  1. sorry mate, but Russian is still behind europe, dont be too fast! U said just like it would be in service tomorrow

  2. to anon September 18, 2009 1:39 AM

    Russians never were behind Europeans in military radars, at least last 50 years it doesn't happen :)

  3. This is awesome news, Igor. Hope this is a game changer... Mig-35 any day, only if the Russians keep their promise on this one.

  4. oh, so the fact that you just finished the TESTING program for ur 1st AESA will erase the time gap between u and europe for all those years regarding this technology?

  5. to anon @ 2.06 AM

    its clear in the RFP that there will be no additional points for exceed in capability

    radar range exceeds the performance and parameters figures set in RFP

    and how ahead is europe in fighter radar technology,did you not see AESA RADAR displayed for su30,pak fa and those radars will clearly outclass the radars in rafale and typhoon in both cost and performance

    it doesn't matter whether the AESA RADAR is of first gen or 5th gen

    main thing is the simultaneous electronic scanning of air,ground and sea,LPI whether its done by the AESA radar of first gen or AESA 5th gen

    and in RFP it is "NOT MENTIONED ANYWHERE THAT AESA should of Ist GEN or 5th GEN or preference will be given according to GENRATION of AESA radar"

    and if ZHUK AE operates simultaneous detection modes of air to air and air to ground,has good ECM immunity and LPI and exceeds parameters set in RFP so this radar is parallel to all other in the race not behind as some people will think

  6. as far as the simultaneous operation of air to air and air to ground is concerned main thing here is that operating of 2 modes simultaneous may decrease the range

    for example- like if only air to air mode is used the tracking range is 150 km

    and if the air to ground mode is being used at the same time when air to air mode being used this operation may put extra pressure on back end processing

    and this simultaneous operation of modes may decrease the air to air tracking range by 50% to only 80-85 km just because almost half of the radar power being used for air to ground mode which was previously being used for air to air mode and vise versa

    but this may be wrong assumption!

  7. >>>oh, so the fact that you just finished the TESTING program for ur 1st AESA will erase the time gap between u and europe for all those years regarding this technology?

    Rubbish! As a matter of fact, it is now the Russians who have a working AESA radar that they can actually put on an aircraft. Where are Thales with theirs? As an Indian I would rather see a Russian or Israeli AESA on the MRCA fighters than a European one, if there is a working on that is!

  8. Sorry m8, but Russia is ahead of Europe. We are far ahead of Saab's SELEX prototype and even ahead of Rafale's AESA. The only contender is the US and theirs do not have required weather mapping mode. Our AESA is ahead in MMRCA requirements.

  9. Good news.

    And a pretty good blog too Igor.

  10. Now this is really a great news for the MiG supporters in the IAF's MRCA contest.. This should go in a long way to convince the IAF that it'll be effective to induct the MiG35 instead of the American aircrafts...

  11. to igorr

    does zhuk ae has "weather mapping mode".

  12. Dear Igor this is impressive improvement of Russian radars.
    Did you have information about GaN test in Russian facilities..


  13. to anon September 18, 2009 3:07 PM

    - Didnt see the complete list of Zhuk-AE modes in a tender configuration, but since they confidently said it's ready for the MMRCA competition, it has 'weather mapping mode' for sure.

  14. to Zoki:

    The same Russian companies, like Istok (Fryazino) and Svetlana (San-Petersburg), which manufacture MMICs on GaAs, work on development GaN technology too. Since the electric generator power on a modern fighter is limited, GaAs technology is pretty enough for contemporal AESA radars.

  15. Hi Igorr,
    Any news u heard about cooperation of Russian in AESA Radar with our DRDO?

  16. to anon September 19, 2009 10:11 PM

    I dont think they could be publicly before MMRCA tender finish, because any such information can be interpret as result predicting. Think GoI wants keeping uncertainness till the end.

  17. to igorr

    how long it takes to overhaul engine and radar of a fighter

    say how long it takes to overhaul zhuk me radar when it finishes its required flight time after which it needs overhaul

  18. to September 20, 2009 2:49 AM:

    This is very specific question. What engine? What radar? For engine it takes relatively long time when they must be taken to the plant anyway, partially disassembled and assembled again.

    A radar is something different. It has mostly plug and play configuration. Especially if has no mechanic parts it can be done in the AF base maintenance and repair facility.

  19. to igorr

    designer of zhuk ae has said that zhuk ae is still far from full capability,so we will see increase in range and capability in next one year

  20. to igorr

    which data link russian fighters use and their specification and data transfer rate

  21. or which data link is offered with mig35?

  22. to anon September 20, 2009 5:16 PM :

    It's classified information.

  23. The Zhuk Radar may be ready; but is the airplane ready.

    There have been reports/ statements as follows :

    1. Delays in MiG 29K, ordered by IN.
    2. Delays in MiG 29 upgradation project.
    3. Statements about final definite version of Mig 35 flying only in 2014.

    What the Indian MMRA needs is a bomb truck, basically to replace Jaguars, Mig 27 and Mirage 2000 in precision strikes. Only two aircraft - f/a 18 E and rafale meets these implied requirments.

    When will MiG be qualified for A-G precision stikes

    Zhuk is better off offering this radar for LCA (naval); but will it fit the LCA?

  24. to anon September 22, 2009 10:09 AM:

    1) For MiG-29K production there is no delay, they are manufactured as expected. Some delay in transferring them to India I guess because all the Gorshkov deal is yet finalized, so some level of uncertainness is remain regards MiG-29K too. Now they fly in Russia and expected to be in India in Nov.09, according to Russian sources.

    2) MiG-29 upgradation is under way, but according to last news Indian side wants to formulate some new tech requests or different equippement. So it is delayed.

    3) India wants castomisation (MKIsaton) for MMRCA anyway, putting there different equippement including domestic, so any 'definite' version of MMRCA will fly only in some years.

    4) MiG-35 is qualified for ground strike not less then most other MMRCA contenders especially more than EF2000 or Grippen. India wants 'true multifunctional' what means air domination capability too. MiG-29 family is good and qualified in this speciality.

    5) Zhuk I think is too big for LCA, Osa size radar is needed most probably.

  25. Thanks for your feedback on above.

    Regarding MMCRA, the trials are underway in India. F-18F & F-16Block 60 have already finished trials in India. Others are on schedule. No news about Mig 35.

    India has put out a RFQ and now tech evaluations are on. Is the MiG35 ready for this?

    This will follow trials in individual countries.
    If the definite version of MiG35 will fly in some years, it will be disqualified, as per RFQ.

    The F-18E, F-16 block 60 & Rafale are proven bomb trucks with some self defense capability. As you have said, others (MiG 35, EF & Gripen)fail this critical point.

    My belief is the final decision of India will be between F-18E & Rafale.

  26. Regarding radar for LCA, unless Zhuk steps up and offers Osa size AESA radar, this will be go to Elta, Israel.

  27. to anon September 23, 2009 10:59 AM:

    They have said they're ready. Will be seen soon. Cannot add anymore... BTW I read the two different infos about the MMRCA Indian tests sequence. According to 1st MiG-35 will be the 3rd in Okt-Nov,09. According to the 2nd - it will be a pause till next spring, when MiG-35 appear in Indian sky.

  28. to anon September 23, 2009 11:01 AM:

    It'a can be Selex as well on LCA, but most probably an Indian indigenous AESA radar. It could be designed together with Phasotron too if ToT for Zhuk-AE is done.

  29. Thanks for info.

    These are the winter & summer trials. At Leh, during winter and in Jaipur / Jodhpur during summer.

    The MiG will possibly do well in this.

    It is the trials about aircraft accesories and equipment where, F-18E & F-16Block 60 will leave others far behind.

    As per my information, Elta is working with DRDO for the AESA radar.

  30. janaury,2007

    Indian anglophile class -especially indian english language media -is a race of Coolies and traitors.
    the same class of indians who are doing propaganda agasinty china today are the same people who forced rajiv gandhi in 1987 to make friendship with china(and recognise tibet as part of china) why-? because the usa had ben friend with china since 1984 and wanted india tobe friend too as opposed to russia.-therefore the indian parasite class foll=made the Indian foreign policy viz china not to suit india but to suit american interests-it is doing the same but in revere direction this time because their anglo-american masters want them to do so.the same indian elite class (for example the president of ranbaxy one MR. Singh,, chairman of FICCi at the time in 80s was vehemently opposing any defence increase or of of buying of defence equioments while asking for freidnship with china as desired by usa ain 80s). the same FICCi is making propaganda agasint DRDo and(with 6% of defence budget) and indian scintisits saying it has not kept the develpopmnet of innovations and kept the 50 yurs old mig 21 not in shape!.) These same indian traitors want india to buy 40 yrs old arms (like junk f16 and f-18) from america knowing fully well that it comes with a heavy conditions unlike almost condition free and better arms(new mig-35) from russia.-but then thse elites are agents of angnlo american interests -so no surprise here-it is high time that thse elites are killed or kicked out of india-these are allwais(iraqi traitor) of india.• Russia is already supplying India with the Sukhoi-30MKI, an advanced "fourth generation" warplane that consistently defeats its Western counterparts, such as the frontline US fighters, the F-15C and F-16. Versions of the Su-30 are also being sold to China, Venezuela, and Malaysia.

  31. Hii Igor!
    Can you tell me why India insist on two seater fifth gen plane ,Given that so much automation and electronics anyway goes into the plane and would relieve the burden on pilot????

  32. to anon October 18, 2009 6:38 PM:

    I remember one of Indian generals has explained this as follow: "The Indian pilots like chatter between them, so better they will chat without radio". Of course it was a joke...

    Being seriousely, I think India feels more limitation in aircrafts number but much less limitation in pilots number. Unlike Russia. Two pilots layout also in some degree reduces the range, which is less actual for India.

  33. Hi Igor
    I've just discovered you blog an I'm quite fond of it! Thanks for this very good and pleasant work.

    I have one question. We recently heared Phazotron-NIIR saying "no problem, we'll transfer all Zhuk-AE technology to India and help India conceive its own radar". In parallel, I read in your last interview of Phazotron's chief of Production that the company has no rush to develop GaN solutions (I perfectly understand his explaination with power limits) and no rush also to add modules to Zhuk-AE's array (680 T/R modules).

    Could we imagine that Phazotron is trying to market in India a kind of outdated system (even if its detection range seems impressive)while other contenders have 1,000+-module array? Indeed, it would be easier for Phazotron, this way, to announce full ToTs. Maybe am I wrong, but I find curious (except for maketing purpose) that an ingineer says "my radar has only 680 modules and it is as good as any oher platform".

    Igor, do you believe that 1,000-module radars are really better than a 680-module one? What 400 more modules can effectively bring to the pilot in terms of performances?

    Have a nice week-end everyone! ;)

  34. Hello!
    Just another question dealing with your article. Are you really sure that Zhuk-AE is the first non-american AESA radar for fighter jets ready for use? I would have said that the Israeli EL/M-2052 was the first non-US system available on the market, no?

  35. to anon November 3, 2009 5:43 PM

    They hardly can judge since no ready installed El/M-2052 radar was demonstrated publicly , only a dummy AESA antenna. They declared successful tests, but it was conducted on a testing civil plane, not on a real fighter. I can be wrong about last year but 1-2 years ago the situation was just so.

  36. looks like phazatron was talking out of its @rse

  37. The fact that the Typhoon was not eliminated because it was not fitted with its AESA radar either suggests that these were simply the excuses used.
    They said initially that they didn't choose the Mig-35 for reasons of diversity... they didn't want a Russian plane because they already had lots of Russian planes in service.
    They of course can't use that as an official reason to reject the Mig-35 because that was not in the specification for the competition.
    It seems their solution is to blame the radar and engines.