Military Parade, № 3, 2012, C. 22-23
Mikhail Suchilin, Mikhail Gorbachev
Author: Mikhail Suchilin, Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Suchilin - head of the OJSC Scientific Research Electromechanical Institute (OJSC AD Central Design Bureau Almaz-Antey)
Mikhail Gorbachev - chief designer, Doctor of Engineering
General designer V. Efremov devel-oped the S-300V SAM system in the '70s - '80s to protect the forces from ballistic and aerodynamic threats. The state tests, including theater ballistic missile reentry vehicle interception proved effectiveness and reliability of the system. Various aerodynamic, aeroballistic and ballistic missiles were shot down in the course of the tests.
After the system had been upgraded it could intercept ballistic missiles with a range of 2,500km. The fact led to the export designation Antey-2500.
The system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey companies where the JSC Scientific Research Electromechanical Institute (OJSC AD Central Design Bureau Almaz-Antey) is the lead designer.
The Antey-2500 AD system is mounted on SP (self-propelled) tracked vehicles, equipped with power units, life support and communication equipment.
A telecode radio communication was introduced to exchange wireless data in combat mode.
Every vehicle is equipped with navigation and survey control systems. It contains all assets within the integrated reference system. Thanks to the automated deployment capability the system's time into action (time to prepare for travelling) is under 6 minutes.
Among advantages of tracked vehicles is not only cross-country mobility but tight turning radius, which is a vital feature to maneuver on mountain roads, in woods and urban areas.
The Antey-2500 battalion includes detection and acquisition asset and SAM batteries (up to 4 per system).The detection and acquisition asset provides autonomous target acquisition and fire control. It consists of a command post (it can coordinate its action with the higher command post if needed) and allround looking and sector-scanning radars.
The SAM battery includes a guidance radar with multitarget engagement capability, launchers and launcher loaders. The system fires 2 types of two-stage missiles with a speed of 2,600 and 1,700 m/s. The missiles are equipped with different boosters and were developed by the OJSC Novator Experimental Design Bureau. Sustainers have a high level of commonality.
Besides, the system includes fitters, including maintenance and SPTA (spare parts, tools and accessories) vehicles. All of them are distributed among battalions and batteries to let crews deal with failures on their own. A simulator has been developed to train crews.
A number of new design solutions are aimed at improving the Antey-2500 operational characteristics, particularly AD capabilities.
Thus, the sector-scanning radar guarantees tracking of ballistic and aeroballistic targets at a high pace (data updating rate is once per second) to deny confusion in mass raids.
The guidance radar with multitarget engagement capability allows the weapon to obtain a maximum elevation of +100° to engage ballistic threats. It substantially widens defended area even beyond the radar observation station.
The launcher transmits the correction signals and illuminates the target to assist the missile semi-active homing. It allows the system to engage simultaneously number of targets equal to that of launchers, connected to the guidance radar (up to 6 launchers). Each launcher will fire missile at the target every 1.5 seconds. The Antey-2500 SAM system is capable to simultaneously engage 24 targets, launching up to two missiles at each target. Two launchers can fire 4 missiles at the same target.
The high-speed missile makes requirements for the ground assets less exacting due to reduction of the time from launch to impact. It is equipped with adjustable launch delay of the sustainer to increase speed in the terminal phase. The feature is especially vital to engage targets at long range (200km and over). The vertical launch capability allows for an immediate 360° coverage around the launcher without the need for time-consuming mechanical aiming required by more traditional launch methods.
The fact the seeker guides the missile to the acquisition range allows to lift burden from the ground assets to track it and makes the acquisition radar more effective.
The semi-active seeker tracks targets within an angle of up to 75° to intercept fast targets in difficult future positions.
The HE fragmentation aimed warhead, fitted with light and heavy fragments, as well as efficient distribution of fuse elements and fragmentation section allows to inflict sufficient damage to nose compartments and reentry vehicles of ballistic missiles, manned aerodynamic targets, and drones.
An additional forward receiver is coupled with the seeker to make sure the fuse detonates at low line-of-sight (LOS) angles (which is the case with fast targets) on timely manner. The fuse settings make it detonate to inflict maximum damage to the reentry vehicle of the missile rather than its frame.
The elements of the system operate in the following manner:
- the command post distributes data, acquired by all-round looking radar and sector-scanning radar between 4 guidance radars with multitarget engagement capability;
- each guidance radar tracks the targets in automatic mode, distributes them between launchers organic to it and transmits necessary data to launch and guide missiles;
- the launcher gets ready a missile for the launch, inputs target and flight data into the onboard computer, launches it, transmits correction signals to the airborne missile (to update the target coordinates when it maneuvers) and illuminates the target to assist the semi-active seeker and radio proximity fuse;
- signals, generated by the onboard inertial system and correction signals guide the missile to the seeker acquisition range. The missile rotates about the longitudinal axis to propel high density fragments towards the target and the fuse detonates it.
The Antey-2500 system provides high level automation of operations of all components. The only action required by the crew is to press the fire button when dealing with fast ballistic threats. The system acquires and tracks targets in the automatic mode.
The Antey-2500 battalion is deployed in the manner to provide distance between the batteries and the detection and acquisition asset up to 20km. It insures that defended areas of the batteries do not overlap to maximize the battalion defended area, which is equal to the total area, covered by the batteries.
The system has substantial growth potential. Its SAMs operate in automatic mode to let the guidance radar of the launcher acquire very low-altitude targets. It is also true when angles of sight of aerodynamic and ballistic targets are large.
The SAM is superior to any Russian and foreign counterpart in capacity. An option of the Antey-2500 with a missile capable to destroy large aerodynamic targets at a range of up to 350km can be manufactured to customer requirements.
Digital signal processing and modern hardware, fitted into ground assets allow to upgrade the system and integrate additional data acquisition and control equipment, as well as weapons into it according to customer requirements.