Military Review

Microwave guns: weapons for aviation and ground forces

In recent years, electronic warfare systems have become a priority. The widespread distribution and importance of radio communications, radar and other technologies has made the suppression system one of the most important tools of the army. As a result, a significant number of new projects were developed, and in addition, fundamentally new ideas for solutions are being sought. According to various sources, at present, Russian enterprises of the radio-electronic industry are studying the topics of the so-called. Microwave guns - special systems that can hit enemy equipment with a high power beam.

Russian industry regularly reports on its success in creating EW systems. For obvious reasons, the bulk of these messages come from the concern Radioelectronic Technologies (KRET), which included leading enterprises in the industry. At the same time, the representatives of the concern talk about both the actual results obtained and the existing plans, the work being carried out, etc. As follows from the reports of officials, the subject of microwave guns is still in the early stages of development, and new projects in this area are not yet ready for practical use.

In July 2016, the KRET leadership revealed some of its views on the further development of the military aviation. Officials have recognized that the so-called fighter in a promising fighter sixth generation will be able to get a fundamentally new weaponhitting the target with high power directional radiation. However, such weapons imposes serious restrictions. Because of the high risks to humans, such a microwave gun can only be used on an unmanned fighter version.

Subsequently, this topic was disclosed in more detail in an interview with Vladimir Mikheev, Advisor to the First Deputy Director General of the Radioelectronic Technologies Concern, for the TASS agency, published at the end of July 2017. The specialist explained that the powerful radiation of the gun represents a threat to humans. The aircraft can be equipped with the necessary protection, but this will lead to some problems. First of all, protection with sufficient characteristics will take a considerable amount and reduce the available stock of carrying capacity. In addition, even powerful protection may be ineffective.

In this case, the most successful carrier of the microwave gun is an unmanned aerial vehicle with suitable dimensions and carrying capacity. Interestingly, such requirements for the carrier allow you to get some new features. So, airplanes and UAVs with "traditional" or advanced weapons can be combined into groups. The pilots will have to monitor the situation and determine the combat missions, the solution of which will be partly assigned to the unmanned vehicles. As stated earlier, now experts are working on the development of such options for the operation of equipment.

In a July interview with V. Mikheev, the question of the current state of affairs in the field of microwave weapons was also raised. The representative of KRET noted that such systems already exist. In addition, constantly testing new products in the laboratory. The essence of some of these checks is the use of the device, the radio waves of which disable this or that electronic device. All this allows you to determine how much power and beam configuration allows you to "burn" the device-target.

In parallel, the development of means of protection from the microwave guns of the enemy. The basic principle of their work is filtering the extra signal. Receivers of the radio-electronic system must have a filter that will be able to pass the useful signal, but will cut off everything else. At the same time, it is necessary to provide for the possibility of programmatic adjustment of the filter characteristics. Without this means, the enemy EW will be able to find the “window” and solve the task.

As follows from the available data, the program for creating an aviation microwave gun is still at the stage of theoretical study, bench research and determination of prospects. For this reason, ready-made samples suitable for operation or at least tests are not yet available, and their appearance is expected only in the future. Nevertheless, there is already an understanding of the main aspects of promising projects and the scope of application of such equipment. In addition, the future problems of such developments in the context of practical application are known.

Apparently, the microwave gun for aviation equipment will be a hanging container with the required equipment. One of the main elements of this product will be the necessary power emitter. With it, the gun will have to send to the target a signal of the correct configuration, capable of, at a minimum, disrupting the operation of its equipment. At the same time, the main task of the gun will not be to counteract the normal operation of the electronics, but to cause damage. High output power will have to cause burnout of the circuits or components of the on-board electronics of the target.

Such weapons, to a certain extent developing the basic ideas of existing EW facilities, can be used to attack various targets. Thus, the "burning out" of electronics will be useful in the fight against radar surveillance equipment. In addition, with the help of microwave guns, an airplane or a UAV can protect itself from flying anti-aircraft or air defense missiles. Depending on the type of rocket, the signal will have to act on receiving devices or data processing equipment from the homing head.

In the context of the development of aviation, the main problem of microwave weapons is its danger to humans. The cockpit must have a developed protection that can adversely affect the basic characteristics of the aircraft. This problem has an obvious solution in the form of using an unmanned carrier, but at the moment such plans cannot be realized. The Russian aviation industry has not yet developed heavy drone drone capable of carrying a particular weapon, including the microwave gun. However, one cannot rule out such a scenario, in which at the time of the appearance of a full-fledged weapon a suitable carrier will be created.

Aviation weapons using new principles are still a matter for the distant future. At the same time, the first similar results have been obtained in the context of the development of ground forces. Back in 2015, the United Instrument-Making Company presented to the leadership of the military department a promising ground-based microwave system on a self-propelled tracked chassis. As reported on the eve of the Army-2015 forum, this model was built on the basis of the Buk serial anti-aircraft missile system.

According to the United Instrument Engineering Corporation, a promising project involved equipping the existing combat vehicle with a set of new equipment. The self-propelled microwave gun was equipped with a generator of sufficient power, a mirror antenna and controls with the required capabilities. The possibility of attacking targets in all directions in azimuth with different elevation angles was provided. The possibility of an all-band suppression of the aircraft’s electronic equipment or means of destruction was announced. The powerful beam was supposed to disable the onboard equipment, disrupting the enemy’s combat work. It was argued that the complex is capable of hitting targets at distances up to 10 km.

As reported, the new development could find application in the context of the development of its own radio-electronic means. The EW complex with a powerful emitter was proposed to be used for testing advanced electronics samples for resistance to external influences.

According to reports, a promising self-propelled complex was presented at the exhibition "Army-2015", however, unfortunately, the general public was shown in a closed part of the exhibition, intended only for the military and political leadership of the country. Public to this development is not allowed.

It should be noted that in the future microwave equipment based on the complex "Buk" was repeatedly mentioned in new statements and messages, but the combat vehicle itself has not yet been shown. In addition, since a certain time this project has ceased to appear in new messages. The reasons for this are unknown. The lack of new data can be associated with both the general secrecy of the entire direction, and with the banal refusal of further development of the project.

According to open data and the few statements of officials, currently the leading enterprises of the domestic defense industry are working to create promising microwave weapons systems. There is already at least one project of a land system of this kind, and also complexes are being developed for installation on aviation equipment. However, the high complexity of the work and the specific features of such weapons lead to certain difficulties, because of which it has not yet been brought to mass production and operation.

At the same time, even in the absence of practically applicable results, current works make sense. In the framework of research programs and during the required tests, scientists and designers gather the necessary information, which will be used in the creation of new projects in the foreseeable future. The defense industry and KRET have solid experience in the field of electronic warfare, as well as continue to work in various directions. New results of current work may appear in the near future.

On the materials of the sites:
Photos used:
Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. VadimSt
    VadimSt 2 October 2017 08: 34
    A paradox, but everything related to the destruction of their own kind is the engine of human progress!
    1. Mih1974
      Mih1974 2 October 2017 19: 43
      "weapon" is not an engine, but rather as a result - disunity and intraspecific struggle of the Homo Sapies. Moreover, the same “arms race” is taking place in the animal world, only in connection with not an “intellectual struggle” but an “evolutionary” one, this process is very slow and we only found the current situation. But archaeologists show us how some species "armed" better and supplanted "extermination" of other species. )))
      So it’s quite a normal process for our Planet.
  2. venik
    venik 2 October 2017 08: 50
    ".... As follows from the reports of officials, the subject of microwave guns is still in the early stages of development, and new projects in this area are not yet ready for practical application ....."
    "... The representative of KRET noted that such systems already exist. In addition, new products are constantly being tested in the laboratory. ..." and further: "... The United Instrument-Making Company presented the leadership of the military department with a promising land microwave system for self-propelled tracked chassis .... "
    Something from the Author "EVERYTHING LAUGHTER - horses, people and salvos of a thousand guns ..." It turns out like: "Is there life on Mars, is there life on Mars - Science is UNKNOWN!" ...
    1. VadimSt
      VadimSt 2 October 2017 16: 56
      There are a lot of sources, and each author wants to “sweeten” something, yes, hot news.
  3. BAI
    BAI 2 October 2017 14: 39
    If I’m not mistaken, see Krasuha in the photo. what does it have to do with the microwave gun. By the way, both authors and moderators need to know that the weapons on the NFP have the "SS" signature stamp. And the discussion in the media does not remove the stamp from the information.
  4. TOR2
    TOR2 2 October 2017 21: 55
    Good article. There is very little publicly available data, and it’s necessary to open the topic as necessary. The author coped with this task remarkably. In addition, this video. The presenter presents something simplistically, but the general meaning is clear.
    The microwave installation is quite energy intensive and installing it on an airplane is a difficult task for the crane, but quite attractive.
    For example, you can equip such installations with a special version of the Bison.
    We have 150t in stock. This should include an antenna with a variable focus, a power plant, its own target detection system (the marine version of the radar from the TOP or Shell), a target acquisition system from the outside, and of course the crew protection system. Radiation is extremely dangerous for humans and therefore it is necessary to approach the issue of crew protection very thoroughly.
    Acting in the coastal zone and in shallow water, such ships could protect the Navy bases from the sea and coastal zone facilities delivering the enemy a lot of pleasure.
    1. Vita vko
      Vita vko 3 October 2017 02: 36
      Quote: TOR2
      The microwave installation is quite energy-intensive and installing it on an airplane is a difficult task for the crane, but quite tempting. For example, you can equip a special version of the Bison with such installations.
      The main problem of mass equipment of microwave weapons is the protection of their carriers and nearby weapons systems. No matter what the high-quality antenna is, it will not work to achieve a level of DND sidelobes of less than -30dB when applying an ultra-wideband pulse. Moreover, the conditions for the propagation of radio waves in the near field are significantly different. It is necessary already at the design stage to take special measures for electromagnetic protection. Any poor-quality adhesive joint will lead to arcing and burning, riveted joints cannot be used at all.
  5. Zaur
    Zaur 5 October 2017 16: 01
    However, the high complexity of the work and the specific features of such weapons lead to certain difficulties, because of which it has not yet been brought to mass production and operation.
    .. the case is simple and the specifics have been worked out for a long time, the question is whether, or rather, the Russian leadership has no money for such innovations ..