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    AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

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    Stealthflanker
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    AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Stealthflanker on Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:43 pm

    Well so far we have seen lots of news related to Russian Aircrafts like PAKFA, Su-35BM and Su-34...

    However somehow i didn't manage to find any news related to the fate of the A-50 Mainstay AEW or Russian AEW program in general study , except the Sukhoi S-62 UAV AEW of course  Very Happy  

    So how's the fate of the A-50's ?, and will they get upgrades on their RADAR's and their avionics in general  ?


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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Farhad Gulemov on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:50 pm

    Stealthflanker wrote:
    So how's the fate of the A-50's ?, and will they get upgrades on their RADAR's and their avionics in general ?

    If my memory is correct, and if my info is not too out of date, a number of A-50s did undergo an upgrade to the A-50U norm. I do however not remember how many such upgraded aircraft are in service. As far as I remember, this upgrade affected the EW suite and the airframe itself, but don't take that to the bank.

    Hopefully somebody here will provide fresher and more reliable info.

    Vladimir79
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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:15 am

    Farhad Gulemov wrote:

    If my memory is correct, and if my info is not too out of date, a number of A-50s did undergo an upgrade to the A-50U norm. I do however not remember how many such upgraded aircraft are in service. As far as I remember, this upgrade affected the EW suite and the airframe itself, but don't take that to the bank.

    Hopefully somebody here will provide fresher and more reliable info.

    They are being upgraded to A-50M standard. There are 15 being refurbished. The upgrade is a disappointing one as it does not come with a new radar. It does come with the usual engines and avionics that goes with all IL-76 upgrades. The radar station will receive modern computer terminals and a rewiring to modern data bus. It will be able to track and process more targets and use modern software to clear up the radar image. It will have a broadband data link and use modern communications. The radar will not be changed and so will retain its range performance.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Viktor on Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:50 pm

    But at the same time here comes suprise

    Russian Air Force will receive new airborne radar

    Russian Air Force will receive new aircraft airborne patrol, detection and guidance, which is being developed at the Taganrog Aviation and Technical Complex named after Beriev, reported on June 14 Interfax citing an unnamed source in the military-industrial complex.

    "To date, nearly completed the documentation," - source said, adding that the first aircraft to be built no earlier than two years.

    As assured source of new aircraft will be "significantly exceed" standing on the Russia Air Force A-50 and A-50EI manufactured for supply to India. The first aircraft will be developed on the basis of the Il-76MD, but in future it will replace the new aircraft, while known as "the product 476. The interviewee said that in addition to direct aircraft, "everything else, including the Radio Complex, where the new".

    Flying Radar A-50 was first commissioned in 1985. Now with the Russian Air Force are 19 such planes. In January 2010 it was reported that India intends to buy from Russia, three A-50EI with the possible purchase of six more, earlier, India has bought three more such planes, two of which have been delivered.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  GarryB on Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:22 am

    That product 476 is the new upgrade of the Il-76 and is a complete upgrade of the aircraft, including new engines, new wing, new cockpit with reduced crew size, and significantly improved performance.

    This is very good news, it seems they really are trying to replace all the older hardware with new stuff. Very Happy


    Sort of related, I always thought they should have continued development of the Yak-44, which was a smaller turboprop powered carrier based AEW aircraft.
    I always thought that even without a carrier to operate it from it would be useful to have a smaller aircraft that could perhaps be exported, would be cheaper than a full size aircraft that could take on other roles. In Afghanistan for example when Soviet forces were there you could have used it for radio relay purposes in the steep mountains. I think it probably would have sold quite well too on the export market.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Austin on Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:42 am

    The new Radar will be an AESA radar and its capability will be better then Indian Phalcon as per russian source

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:39 pm

    Austin wrote:The new Radar will be an AESA radar and its capability will be better then Indian Phalcon as per russian source

    Not for the A-50M, you are talking about the new prototype AWACs. We are talking about the modernisation of the Mainstay. The new patrol craft will not be available until 2020 when the A-50M will be retiring.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Austin on Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:06 pm

    Vlad any details on the A-50M project ? Will they upgrade all the current A-50U AWACS to A-50M standard ?

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:10 pm

    Austin wrote:Vlad any details on the A-50M project ? Will they upgrade all the current A-50U AWACS to A-50M standard ?

    I already stated it in the 3rd post.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Austin on Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:19 pm

    Thanks , Did read that Embarassed

    Coming back to A-50M performance ,I read that the detection range was increased to ~ 600 km.

    Also I see no urgent need to move to AESA not until Russian industry matures in this area , with improvement in Digital Signal processing,Processor and COTS they can greatly improve the performance of A-50U , plus Real time Satellite datalink , communication should give substantial improvement in performance.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:30 pm

    Austin wrote:

    Coming back to A-50M performance ,I read that the detection range was increased to ~ 600 km.

    Where did you read that? The range performance is the same as the radar has not been changed.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Austin on Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:00 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:
    Austin wrote:

    Coming back to A-50M performance ,I read that the detection range was increased to ~ 600 km.

    Where did you read that? The range performance is the same as the radar has not been changed.

    Sorry Vlad I cannot find the link but I do clearly remember the 600 Km range as it struck me , it possible that the old A-50U has a range of ~ 600 km

    If I find the link I will post it here.

    Since this is a PESA radar , I believe range increase is possible if they use a more powerful TWT with higher Kw or use double like they did with Irbis PESA to increase the range , JMT.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:41 pm

    The range is 400km against large naval ships and 250km against airborne targets.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:55 am

    They updated all the electronics to digital with much more capable signal processing power.

    Think of a radar system like the A-50 as being like a lighthouse. A new light source with a sharper brighter beam will increase effective range, but also trying to see the light from a lighthouse with the naked eye is one thing... using binoculars or even a telescope and being able to change the light frequency based on the current atmospheric conditions can extend the range to which it can be used.

    The Mig-31 was a good case in point... the original had an enormous field of view compared to the radar in the F-14, though its max range was not as good. This was not an issue with the radar itself but a serious lack of processing power to analyse the radar returns from such a large volume of space. The new radar for the later model Mig-31s has a much better range with a radar antenna only slightly larger and also a PESA design like the original. The main improvement is the signals processing power and digital equipment behind the radar that greatly improves performance.

    I quite agree with Austin here that delaying putting a new antenna on the aircraft till AESA module technology in Russia is mature and cheaper makes a lot of sense.
    It is more important to make the current models all digital than to rush in a half a$$ed AESA model just because AESA is cool at the moment.

    For the PVO the A-50 was a gap filler rather than an AWACS aircraft as used in NATO.
    For NATO the AWACS aircraft is more like a mobile air defence radar network that it can take to conflicts as and where needed. Lots of people point to this and the wests inflight refuelling capability and suggest Russia needs that, but both are very expensive assets that are really only needed for offensive operations, so having all you WACS capability in an airbourne form is expensive and wasteful... unless you are planning conflict on 3-4 fronts at a time. For one or two conflicts then 16-20 AWACS are fine.

    As mentioned above the concept of mini AWACS aircraft is a good one I think, and a few cheaper smaller aircraft with 360 degree radar view and the ability to manage defences is pretty good.

    I remember reading somewhere that a capability they wanted for the A-50 was the ability to mark targets with radar so that Russian fighters could launch missiles without any emissions at all. The enemy will detect the AWACS aircraft passively but will have to turn its own radar on to detect any supporting fighters. The Russian fighters have target information from the A-50 on their displays without using their own radar, though it could show extra information with their IRSTs on of course.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:57 am

    All it will do is clear up the picture, it will not extend the range.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Stealthflanker on Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:38 am

    Thanks everyone for replying Very Happy

    hmm well it's glad to know that these AEW's are being modernized, although yes as Vlad said , in signal processing and computer, which would means that most of the transmitter and receiver block from the old Shmel RADAR will be retained .


    Wink

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:32 am

    It should extend the range at which LO aircraft are detected.

    Besides once the aircraft are upgraded to digital it becomes much simpler and easier to just replace the antenna when a new more capable system comes available.

    BTW what is the operational ceiling of the Il-76?

    That might limit max too.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:36 pm

    Perhaps, but it will not extend the maximum range which is 400km for large surface vessels and 250km for airliners. Its operational altitude will not change.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  coolieno99 on Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:01 am

    Video of A-50M. The radome is fixed, non-rotating. In the dome are 3 phase-array antennas arranged in a triangular configuration. Beam-steering is done electronically. Radar technology is most likely AESA. The plane is very similiar to China's KJ-2000.


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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  GarryB on Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:49 am

    I believe the radar is PESA for the upgrade.

    A bit like AESA in that it is electronically scanned but cheaper and generates less heat and requires less power.

    The KJ-2000 uses the same Russian aircraft as a platform, that is why they look similar as both use the Il-76 aircraft.

    The replacement for the A-50M is being worked on right now and is called A-100.

    It will likely have AESA radars, and we don't know what aircraft it will be based on or what form the radar will take. (ie saucer above the back of the aircraft like the A-50, or perhaps a lower drag body mounted side aerials and nose and tail radar.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they had some very long side body mounted antenna of very low frequency for very long range detection and tracking and datalink transmissions.

    Such a set up might even allow communication with submerged submarines.

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    AWACS - Command & Control aircrafts of RuAF

    Post  Stealthflanker on Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:29 pm

    coolieno99 wrote:Video of A-50M. The radome is fixed, non-rotating. In the dome are 3 phase-array antennas arranged in a triangular configuration. Beam-steering is done electronically. Radar technology is most likely AESA. The plane is very similiar to China's KJ-2000.


    Wow.. what a surprise .

    well however hopefully the uploader does not mistake it with Israeli's A-50U Upgrade which uses AESA . Very Happy

    nonetheless ..this Video really worth a Thanks

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:05 pm

    Look inside the modernised A-50M.

    http://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/ispytaniya_novoy_sistemy_ustanovki_2210.html

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Austin on Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:52 pm

    Vladimir79 wrote:Look inside the modernised A-50M.

    http://tvzvezda.ru/news/forces/content/ispytaniya_novoy_sistemy_ustanovki_2210.html

    Looks old fashioned with older radar scopes and display , hopefully the A-50M makes it up with better radar and C4I plus net centricity.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  Vladimir79 on Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:48 pm

    Austin wrote:

    Looks old fashioned with older radar scopes and display , hopefully the A-50M makes it up with better radar and C4I plus net centricity.

    Unfortunately not, fighters have no datalinks to the AWACs and the only thing better about the radar is its processors.

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    Re: AWACS-Airborne Command Posts of RuAF

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:44 am

    The old A-50 was just a gap filler to close gaps in the ground based air defence network.

    The new doctrine of mobile forces suggests they will need to expand their AWACs forces so they can operate in lots of places at once.

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