Monday, August 24, 2009

Some questions about 'Fazotron's AESA are resolved on MAKS-2009

The comparative estimations of AESA radars became very popular in the discussions on different military fora. It becomes even more important in view of Indian MMRCA tender, where AESA radar existence is seemingly an ultimate condition for win. Last time the question was raised about Russian 'Zhuk-AE' radar capabilities. This radar is offered with MiG-35 fighter for Indian MMRCA competition too. In its initial 680 MMICs 'avatar' it was displayed with the main characteristic of 120 km detection range for standard flying targets (enemy fighter with 3 m2 RCS). However, the last information, published by a Russian new agency in August 2009 just before MAKS-2009 Air Show, contradicts to this figure. Then was pointed to 148 km of effectively detected and tracked air targets.

Fortunately, being on MAKS-2009 in August 21, I have met 'Fazotron-NIIR's chief constructor Anatoly Kanashchenkov near 'Fazotron's stand. I must say it in no mean was official interview, but he answered for all my questions with pleasure. I was impressed by his openness and friendliness. He explain me, that initially figured 120 km detection range – is highly downplayed, and reflect the real capability of the radar in very initial stage of work, already overcome. According to him, the planned capability of standard flying target detection for Zhuk-AE (with 680 emitting units) is 250 km, and he is in no doubt to achieve it.
Unlike MAKS-2007 this year only  'Zhuk-AE' dummy was displayed. Mr. Kanashchenkov said me it's because all working AESAs are in active flying tests now.
I asked him whether he plans to go to the 'second generation' gallium-nitride technology for MMICs instead of current gallium-arsenide. Gallium-nitride MMICs could give more powerful emission. He answered me, that it would be needed only if the electric power station of contemporary fighters was much more powerful. Now it limits the radar power, not the MMIC's technology. For example, he says, each 'Zhuk-AE's emitting element has 5 watt maximal output. However, now they still use only 3-3.5 watts with more output will be tested in the future. In addition, he explained me, Russian MMIC technology is better in some aspects, than other countries have. Russian MMICs are truly monolithic nanoheterostructures, while other AESA developers use soldered circuits with lesser reliability. Therefore, they also have no intention for 1000 units AESA for MiG-35 variant of the radar because 680 MMICs 'Zhuk-AE' is far from its full capabilities.

In addition, he said they actively work on EW, ELINT and net-centric capabilities of the radar. A popular question was about capability of AESA radar to disseminate computer viruses on enemy radars. He said it could be possible only if the enemy radar has OEM chips with a backdoor 'bug' installed. Then you can just give the command for enemy radar die-out via your AESA.


  1. hello this is saptarishi from BR FORUMS,680 modules giving a range of 250km sounds very impressive,i think india should have cancelled the whole mmrca affair instead should have gone in for 126 su-35.logistically it would have been good too because of its similarity with su-30mki,,mmrca and su-35 are stop gap measures for india and russia,until the real raptor killer T-50 pak-fa enters service in our armed forces,,as far as zhuk-ae is concerned i think with 680 modules a range of 148 km makes more sense

  2. Igorr,

    The standard Phaza RCS is 5 Sq Mtr (NIIP uses 3 sq mtr for calibration), so the range above is for 5Sq Mtr, not 3.
    To compare, this is greater than APG 80. 75-80 nm for 1 Sq Mtr RCS. 220 Km for 5 Sq Mtr RCS.But it will be lesser than CAPTOR E for sure.

    One question, did you ask NIIP similar questions? Could you share that also.

  3. to anon August 24, 2009 1:02 PM:

    The standards are different for Russian tech literature is still 3 m2 RCS, which makes comparative calculations harder but still possible. BTW the range of detection is depended of RCS as 4th degree radical, so the difference between 3 and 5 m2 RCS in detection range is rather little.
    Had no possibility for asking question from NIIP's chiefs coz they were occupied with Brazilian delegation. Those NIIP's guys who was free for conversation said little about NIIPs AESA because secrecy of the PAK FA project. Only figure I've got the detection range of their AESA could be longer 1.5 times in comparizon to Irbis-E PESA radar. Too, the gimbal is not used for AESA.

  4. to all

    as for spreading viruses in enemy radar only when OEM chip of enemy radar comes with backdoor "BUG" installed
    so this thing is really really important,american aesa radars will come with this "BUG" installed in APG79/80 and whenever americans want they can use against india if india buys f18/16

    saying this because america already rufused to share the radar source codes

  5. babloo- i agree with your statremnt that the ameircans will isntall virus in planes suppleid to the Indians if the idnians are foolish enough to order the american old craps.
    but then my country India is a gone case. many indians in all forum are doing the propaganda work for the americans knwlingly and with knowledge that indian interest woudl hbe harmed.
    but itis too much to expect of indians to have self respcet and clear thinking about nations interest.
    still thsoe stupid indians think themsleves to be chankikya while they are being target of chakanakiy practice by americana nd british bastards .

  6. Good Work Igor , so the final variant of Zhuk-AE for Mig-35 will be only 680 T/R module and not the planned ~ 1100 ?

    The figures of 250 km for 3m2 target is respectable

  7. to Austin:

    Since they yet achived full 5 W power capacity for each MMIC, it's no sense for going to more elements. Has no economical sense too, if Zhuk-AE with only 680 MMICs makes its work, i.e. fulfills MMRCA requirements. MMICs number isnt an end in itself but only means to achieve some capability. If it could be achieved with 680 units, why need 1050? MiG-35 just has no an a2a missile with 250+ km range.

  8. OK...Igor...lets talk about the ToT now.

  9. More MMIC or T/R module will cover a larger area i.e. scanning sector in azimuth and elevation.

    So large number of T/R module will mean better scan/tracking sector although you can use some mechanical hydraulic servo motors to compensate for it to some extent.

    Although the power requirement of 5 W may meet the range requirement of ~ 250 km for 3m2 target

    - Austin

  10. to igorr

    any idea what is the power capacity used in MMIC of apg79 or apg80 radar?

  11. to igorr

    when you post the pictures of zhuk ae radar before the t/r modules look white but in the picture above t/r modules look darker.

    can you explain this?

  12. to anon August 25, 2009 5:20 AM:

    They dont disclose their main characteristics. The estimations are not over 5 W however.

  13. to anon August 25, 2009 5:22 AM:

    Can you give me a link, what picture you mean. I have published a lot Zhuk-AE pics in this blog.

  14. to igor

    when i tried to copy,cut,paste option to paste a link by clicking right option on mouse it doesn't work so please repaire this

    and also for comparision take the picture of
    zhuk ae above its face is dark or brownish

    but you post the pictures of zhuk ae in your
    "AESA RADARS FOR FIGHTER,BRIEF REVIEW" the face of zhuk radar is white,so is that a RAM coating or something else?

  15. to August 25, 2009 8:02 AM:

    Understood. The picture above is from MAKS-2009. There is not a working radar, only Zhuk-AE dummy (i hve written this in the text). While the pictures of Zhuk-AE in my post written before ("AESA RADARS FOR FIGHTER,BRIEF REVIEW" ) - is from MAKS-2007, then they displayed real working radar. Two them just cannot be same :)

  16. Igorr,

    Every reference I have seen about the Phazatron radars shows a standard 5 SQ Mtr reference. Whereas almost all NIIP/Su-27 literature show 3Sq Mtr.

    So 250 Km against 5 SQ Mtr target would be 0.9 times the range, or around 220 Km.

    Like you said, not much of a difference.

  17. I mean 220 Km for 3 Sq Mtr target.

  18. too much talking, too much marketing, people. Interestingly enough, there are still many chump indians trust these paper toys from russia than proven and reliable things from the west. Havent you been screwed enough with the carrier, mig-29...? Fortunately, your leaders are not that dump and turn more to the west (and israel).

  19. Hello Igor,

    Is Russia aware of scalar technologies? Has Russia made any assessment of (the US) HAARP and other GEO Technologies like cloud seeding taking place globally. My assessment is we are experiencing new phenomena's in atmospheric conditions and situations.

    Here in India , there is a feeling that the wildfires in Russia were the result of the US using HARP.

    Best Regards,
    Debo , Calcutta

  20. If the Americans were controlling the weather then why do they suffer so many deaths per year with Tornados, and every other year with floods and wildfires?
    America is guilty of enough crap without blaming them for bad weather too.

  21. It could be unsuccessful trials)

  22. They are guilty of enough wrong doing without having to make up stuff... :)

    There is nothing that has happened recently that has never happened before... crap weather and change in weather is normal.

  23. GarryB and Igor,

    Appreciate your response . Regret the late reply , was travelling.