Sunday, September 5, 2010
The ELINT part including US-P satellites ('Tselina-2' in last 1980 and 1990th, GRAU index — 17F17, also US-PU (УС-ПУ), EORSAT) with passive radars and solar batteries has Ukrainian overall design (OKB 'Yuzhnoye') with Russian ELINT payload (TsNIRTI design house):
During the Soviet period, four generations of the Tselina spacecraft, developed by KB Yuzhnoe in Dnepropetrovsk, provided the Soviet military with electronic intelligence. Work on the Tselina-3 spacecraft started in 1985 and its preliminary design was completed in 1989. However with the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, KB Yuzhnoe ended up in the newly independent Ukraine. To secure its strategic assets, the Russian political and military leadership sought to transfer all significant military projects out of the independent republics into Russia.
- However, despite discontent of the ill wishers in the West, Ukraine successfully cooperated with Russia in naval ELINT, following to sell more new satellites for Russia strengthens Russian naval power. About 15 new Tselina satellites were launched in Russia after USSR dismantle in 1991 till 2006, where the Russian indigenous program grow its own strength. The last Tselina-2 launch before turn to a new program took place in June 2007 (Cosmos-2428).
During 1993, the TsNIRTI radio technology institute, also known as the Berg institute, completed a preliminary engineering proposal for the Liana system, that was supposed to succeed the Tselina network. The document became the base for a government decree authorizing the full-scale development of the Liana system. Given the Berg institute's previous experience in radio-electronic warfare, the government awarded the organization the status of chief developer of the overall network as well as its associated ground-based hardware and satellites' onboard payloads. Within the organization, Aleksandr Lebed, the head of Department NTO-32, was appointed chief-designer of the Liana network. Yuri Kharitonov, the head of Department 32.1, led the development of the Bars payload.
... Since the Russian government also wanted the Liana network to succeed US-PM naval ELINT satellites, various conflicting requirements led developers to propose two variations of future satellites -- Lotos and Pion. Pion-NKS (14F139) carrying a radar antenna was expected to replace both the US-A and US-PU satellites, providing electronic intelligence and target guidance for the Russian navy.
...Still, developers hoped to minimize the range of hardware needed for the two sub-systems and give both versions of the satellites the capability to back up each other, while at the same time, Lotos and Pion could still pursue their specific tasks. Such an approach, which had failed during the development of previous generations of ELINT systems in the Soviet period, promised to cut cost and shorten development time.
The weapon guiding sub-network was composed from 'US-A' active radar satellites with onboard fast neutrons nuclear reactor and thermo-electric generator BES-5 'Buk'. All development was going very hard due to many problems were to overcome. An US-A satellite 'Cosmos-954 with nuclear reactor has fall on Canada in 1978 and more one (Cosmos-1402) - in 1982. Most other satellites after their lifespan expired were successfully buried on the high orbit. So those who now point current glitches in 'Liana' development, just don't know the history. Last US-PU Legenda satellite was launched in June 2006 (Cosmos-2421).
The 3rd part of the global reconnaissance and weapon guiding system are 'Kobalt-M' 6.6 t photo-reconnaissance satellites, successfully developed by TsSKB Progress, Samara, and manufactured by Arsenal, St Petersburg. A number of them are launched during last few years. Their successors 'Persona' photo-reconnaissance satellites will work longer time and can be integrated in real time searching&aiming system. First such satellite, marked Cosmos-2441, was launched July, 26-2008. Two launches is planned annually started from 2010-2011.
However the weak point of 'Legenda' was its pure maritime specialization, it could not ensure weapon guiding over the terrain, but only the ELINT (starting from 'Tselina-2' satellites). The new system has no this weakness. Unlike 'Legenda', the totally new Russian global ELINT and weapon guiding system 'Liana will work as ELINT and WG system above the oceans and terrain as well. The successors of Tselina-2 are Lotos-S ELINT satellites and US-A maritime weapon guiding satellites are changed with Pion-NKS KA serial.
In Soviet time after MKRTs 'Legenda' borne in 1978, Russians efforts guaranteed global vulnerability of any potential enemy navy. The Americans tried to counter this threat by developing ASAT anti-satellite system, but failed in mission. With the help of new-coming 'Liana' net, Russian Navy still can scrag any enemy fleet in its beer embraces all around the world.