Looking through Syrian and Middle Eastern and Western information resources in the late evening of February 21, it was hard to believe my eyes when the first news reports of the arrival of a pair of 5 X-based multi-functional super-maneuverable 57 fighters Su arrived at the Syrian.liveuamap.com tactical online news block. -50 (T-35 PAK-FA). The vehicles touched the air base's GDP during aerial escort from one of the Su-24С multi-purpose fighters, which was clearly seen in the video material published by Syrian observer Wael al-Husseini on his Twitter page. As it later became known thanks to the online monitoring of airborne resources with active transponders ADS-B “Flightradar35”, PAK-FA and Su-154, they were in the lead by the passenger plane Tu-2Б-XNUMX.
Completely new multi-role fighters of the next generation, completely new, "not tested" in hostile airspace, are quite unexpectedly deployed to the most unpredictable Syrian theater of military operations, saturated with an impressive number of ground and airborne electronic and radar reconnaissance assets. So, near the airspace controlled by the air defense-missile defense of the Syrian Armed Forces on the borders of the Euphrates and northern provinces, AWACS Boeing 737AEW & C "Peace Eagle" aircraft of the Turkish Air Force and E-3G of the US Air Force, capable of bearing air targets with EPR 3 sq. m at a depth of 280 - 350 km. From the southern air direction, the Syrian sky is partially "pressed" by Israeli CAEW aircraft equipped with active phased antenna arrays of EL / W-2085 radar from the Elta company integrated into the fuselage.
Consequently, the reinforcement of the Syrian air wing of the VKS of Russia by the standard Su-30CM and Su-34 with an effective reflective surface in 12 and 3 square. m, respectively, the enemy’s “sighted” aerial reconnaissance equipment will be almost impossible to surprise or “intimidate”, especially when the AIM-120C-7 and AIM-120D air-to-air missiles are used to attack the coalition’s fighters, which pose a threat to our machines at a distance 130 - 160 km. Another thing - Su-57, which are machines of a completely different sort. And do not rush to judge the combat potential of our air wing only by the number of Su-57 transferred to Hmeimim. The parameters of the on-board radio-electronic equipment of the two PAK-FAs who arrived in Syria, as well as their small radar signature, which will become a significant obstacle for detection of enemy AN / APG-80 fighters on Israeli F-16I and with with the help of MESA and AN / APY-2 radar systems installed on the Turkish and US-based AWACS.
Based on the table data source "Paralay", where the calculated effective surface scattering Su-57 is from 0.2 to 0.4 square. m, we can conclude that the above Turkish and American XRDNM means our advanced fighters will be detected at a distance of 100 - 150 km, and therefore it will be extremely difficult to monitor the vehicles, especially when, in addition to Su-57, the A2 / AD airspace will be patrolled and Su-30M / Su-35С, carrying containers of individual (L-265М10) and Khibiny group protection on hangers. We conclude that the Su-57, performing air operations over the central territories of Syria, will be almost impossible to detect by enemy airborne radar equipment, while the pilots will be able to test some of the avionics in a tactical situation close to combat, taking into account the complex network-centric theater of operations . Why not all, but some?
The fact is that in addition to taking into account the use of enemy ground-based and airborne early-warning radar operating mainly in the L (D) - and S-bands, it is necessary to remember the presence of passive radar systems. These include: AN / ALR-67 (V) 3 on-board radiation warning stations (aboard Super Hornets), the world's most advanced STR AN / ALR-94 (as part of the Rapid F-22A airborne defense complex ", Consisting of more than 30 highly sensitive passive radar sensors), as well as antenna posts with a passive station RTR" KORAL-ED ", which are part of the Turkish five-element self-propelled radio-electronic warfare complex" KORAL ". The above-mentioned multi-frequency electronic intelligence tools work in the frequency range from 500 to 40000 MHz and are capable of direction finding even weak sources of electromagnetic radiation, and then save their frequency profile to the register of radio-emitting objects. This, in turn, imposes significant restrictions on the tests of the onboard H036 “Belka” radar complex in active mode (to avoid familiarizing the enemy with the modes of operation of the PAK-FA radar in combat conditions).
The KORAL-ED radio intelligence module of the Turkish EW KORAL complex
Obviously, the 4 AFAR-stations of the Belka airborne RLC will be tested in the passive mode of reconnaissance of enemy radio-emitting targets, for example, working on the transfer of tactical information exchange terminals via radio link-4A and Link-11 / TADIL-A installed on DRLOU aircraft
Peace Eagle, Link-16 terminals (onboard the F-16C Block 50 +), as well as radiating devices located on ground and air units. Such a method of using the Belka airborne radar complex in Syria’s airspace will help to adapt the Su-57 fighter’s weapons control system not only to carry out operations to gain air supremacy and strike ground targets, but also to conduct strategic air reconnaissance without opening its own location . This technique of using the X-NUMX-generation F-5A Raptor fighter for several years has been used by the flight crews of the US Air Force over both Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic, which was deactivated by the dean of the Mitchell Aerospace Research Institute in March, General Lt. US Air Force retired David Deputla.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that the multi-functional fighter jets of the 5 generation PAK-FA, as well as the Raptors with their AN / ALR-94 passive reconnaissance complexes, will have very serious advantages in the exploration of surface radio-emitting objects in the passive mode due to the presence of The composition of the “Squirrel” of two AFAR-stations of side view НХNUMXБ-036-1Л and Н1Б-036-Б. This design allows the Su-1 for a long period of time to run parallel to the line of contact with the enemy, removing the need to turn the field of view over the scanned area by performing maneuvers (the same technique is used by all aircraft / ground reconnaissance UAV with side radars from Tu-57Р and E-214C to RQ-8B "Global Hawk"). Working in active mode (radiation) H4Б-036-1Л / B gives the pilot Su-1 an opportunity to “look” at 57 - 45 ° into the rear hemisphere, which for F-60A is an unaffordable luxury due to the absence of a drive for mechanical turning of the airborne radar AN / APG-22. But we recall that the active mode of the radars included in the "Belka" will not be used until the regional and global conflict (Raptors also do not use it).
A number of restrictions will be imposed on the active modes of operation of the on-board communication complex (including voice and the exchange of telecode information) C-111-H, synchronized with the antenna-feeder system AIST-50. Despite the fact that this complex has much in common with the onboard C-108 information exchange complex of the Su-35C fighter (including the use of pseudo-random tuning of the operating frequency with a frequency of about 156 jumps per second), using it for transmission in the current tactical situation in the Syrian theater military operations are fraught with the opening of the location of the “broadcasting” Su-57 with further deciphering and analysis of the pilot’s negotiations with the Allied Command Post. For these purposes, the United States Air Force has an RTR / RER aircraft such as the Rivet Joint RC-135V / W, carrying the 85000 / ES-182 MUCELS radio electronic intelligence station operating on the frequency range from 0,04 to 17,25 GHz. Depending on the radio horizon, meteorological conditions and interference conditions, the MUCELS blade and whip antennas are capable of intercepting signals from the enemy’s communications equipment from 500 to 900 - 1000 km, after which about ten professional linguist cryptologists on board “puzzled them” Rivet Joint.
Proceeding from this, it is not difficult to understand that testing C-111-H over Syria is possible only under the following conditions: flying at low altitude (out of the field of view of the KPRAL-ED stations of the DER and other ground-based radio reconnaissance of the enemy outside the horizon), with 100% confidence in the absence of “Rivet Joints” in the next 600-km, as well as at low and medium power of the terminal transmitter, while the maximum is about 200 watts. At this point, one of the reasons why the second aircraft of the A-50U radar patrol and A-57U arrived at Hmeimim Air Force is also becoming clear. Before the Su-22 test flights over Syria, one of the “Mainstays” will be used to detect any potentially dangerous airborne reconnaissance equipment of the NATO and Israel Allied Forces approaching Syrian airspace from four operational directions. The only vehicles that can penetrate deep enough into Syria’s airspace and go unnoticed for a long time are the F-95A “Raptor”, which are deployed at Al-Dafra airbase (Saudi Arabia) as part of the US Air Force 35 Expeditionary Squadron, F-XNUMXI "Adir" Hel Haavir, stationed at the Nevatim air base (Israel).
The first possess an effective reflective surface in 0,05 - 0,07 sq. m and can be detected by the modernized radar complex of the A-50U aircraft at a distance of no more than 100 - 120 km, F-35I with EPR in 0,2 square. m - 160 km. Consequently, these machines retain the possibility of detecting Su-57 on duty in Syrian airspace by means of integrated opto-electronic systems for detecting warm-contrast targets (rocket flares, and turbojet engines in afterburner) AN / AAR-56 MLD (Missile Launch Detection), and AN / AAQ-37 DAS. These complexes are represented by a high resolution aperture distributed by a glider from 4 and 6 infrared sensors of high resolution, capable of detecting heat-emitting targets at a distance of several tens to several hundred kilometers, and are capable of detecting “torches” in the infrared range from round nozzles for a considerable distance sections of turbojet dual-circuit engines AL-41Ф1.
But even if the Raptor is able to get close to the Su-57 at the distance of direction finding with infrared sensors with further covert follow-up, it will not be able to transfer information about the detected object to the airborne gearbox (the same AWACS). 16 "works exclusively on receiving tactical information, which is implemented for greater secrecy of the machine. Recall that for the exchange of information about the tactical situation on the "Raptors", a highly secure individual radio channel IFDL (Intra-Flight Data Link) is used, which is not intended to be interfaced with other tactical radio channels of the Link-16 and TTNT types.
At the end of 2017 of the year, F-22A “Raptor” reported these shortcomings with the Aviation Week newsletter referring to the anonymous commander of the US Air Force, who complained that when Su-30CM and Su-35С were detected by the Russian Aerospace Forces over the Euphrates for KP notifications have to use not a data transmission channel, but a classic digital radio station with scramble mode and frequency hopping. Moreover, he expressed dissatisfaction due to the fact that it was almost impossible to detect Russian cars at night, since there are no highly specialized advanced optical-electronic means on board for detecting and capturing a computer center with a small infrared signature. Recall that AN / AAR-56 is effective only in detecting strongly contrasting thermal targets, which include solid propellant rocket motors, as well as jet engines in the afterburner. Detecting jet engines of tactical fighters on the maximum mode AAR-56 is capable only within the limits of visual visibility. The AN / APG-77 radars for American pilots must be strictly prohibited to prevent them from being “opened” by our electronic reconnaissance equipment.
Russian Su-57, on the other hand, are equipped with an OLS-50M optical-electronic complex that is more adapted for detecting and tracking fighter and bomber targets for radiation from a jet stream, not only in the afterburner mode, but also at the maximum. The complex is an analogue of the OLS-35 installed on the Su-35 and has similar technical characteristics. In particular, the F-35A target type detection range in the afterburner mode may exceed 100 km to the rear hemisphere (CPS) and 45 km - to the front hemisphere (PPS), when the infrared signature of the jet stream is partially blocked by the airframe projection. In addition to the direction finding of air warm-contrast targets, OLS-50М is capable of detecting, tracking and capturing surface targets in the middle range of infrared waves (3 - 5 μm). This OLPK is located in front of the cockpit lantern and has a modular design consisting of: an optical-mechanical unit (BOM-35), an information conversion unit (BOI-35), and a power supply unit / control unit for a laser rangefinder-aiming indicator (BPUL-35); the latter is capable of measuring the range to targets, as well as highlighting them for tactical missiles with a semi-active laser seeker at a distance of up to 30 km. Convection air cooling of working elements causes a high operational resource of the OLS-50М, and the modularity of the design provides an improved maintainability in wartime.
Diagram of the radar and optoelectronic architectures of the inconspicuous multi-purpose fighter Su-57
There is a Su-57 optical-electronic “stuffing” and a station for detecting attacking missiles and countering 4X Atoll, designed by specialists of Ural Optical and Mechanical Plant Production Company from Yekaterinburg, familiar to the 5 ++ and 101 fighter generations of the 56 ++ and XNUMX generations. The product is a conceptual analogue of the raptor SOAP AN / AAR-XNUMX and the lightning system DAS and is represented by a distributed aperture of:
- 2-x single and 2-x paired opto-electronic modules 101X-U / 01 and 101X-U / 02, working in the ultraviolet range; products are capable of detecting sources of thermal radiation from both rocket engines and jet engines aviation the enemy, after which the coordinates can be transferred to the weapon control system of the Su-57; the first pair of modules 101KS-U / 02 is installed on the lower surface of the nose of the fuselage and works along the lower hemisphere, the second pair of modules is on the upper surface of the tail coca and processes the upper hemisphere; single modules 101KS-U / 01 scan the side hemispheres and are placed on the sides of the garrot; total number of UV sensors - 6 units;
- 2-x modules 101KS-O, suppressing the work of infrared homing heads of attacking missiles (AIM-9L / X Block II, "IRIS-T" or "MICA-IR") and located under the pilot's cabin, as well as on the upper surface of the gargrot; unfortunately, the complex is not available on all experienced machines;
- one module 101X-P, operating in the infrared / TV range and designed for more confident low-altitude piloting of the machine in the enemy's air defense overcoming mode (without using airborne radar).
An additional element of the Su-57 on-board optoelectronic equipment is the 101KS-H suspended container sighting and navigation system, designed to work on objects in the lower hemisphere, mainly ground and surface. The product operates in television and infrared sighting channels and is able to detect and identify tank-type targets at a distance of more than 35 km due to the use of an optical zoom in a complex with high resolution. Integrated and laser rangefinder-pointer, capable of issuing target designation of air-to-ground missiles X-38MLE, as well as X-29L and X-25ML, launched from suspensions of other carriers. The exact parameters of this complex have not been disclosed to date, but we can definitely say that they roughly correspond to such container complexes as the modernized American “Lantirn-ER” or the Turkish “AselPOD”.
Using all the above passive sensors of navigation, reconnaissance and target designation in the hidden mode, Su-57 will be able to get a lot of tactical information valuable for the command of the Russian group in the CAP without the need to transfer such a large machine as the Tu-214Р. More importantly, the transfer of the latter through neutral airspace over the Caspian Sea is instantly fixed by modern radar equipment of Azerbaijan’s air defense, the main of which can be considered the Ukrainian radar detectors of the UHF 80K6 “Pelican” and Israeli EL / M-2080 “Green Pine” radars, information what is instantly on the table at Hulusi Akar and Erdogan. The latter immediately notify the control cells of Tahrir ash-Sham and FSA about the imminent commencement of comprehensive air control, for example, of the same Idlib gadyushnik. Naturally, rebels and other militants from the "green enclave" instantly turn off all sorts of preparatory measures for a particular military operation against the Syrian government forces.
As a result, the commands of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Armed Forces lose a lot of valuable information, which could later be used to plan an effective spectrum of countermeasures. It will be extremely difficult for the enemy to calculate the exact moment of reconnaissance by the forces of the Su-57 pair, especially at night, while vehicles may appear both near Idlib captured by militants and near the Euphrates bed in order to get hotheads from the Central Command of the Armed Forces The United States thought well before covering the Syrian army, Syrian militia and other friendly forces from barreled artillery of the "Ganships" and HIMARS.
After all, with the help of the OLS-50M, promising Su-57 fighters can not only watch the enemy without opening their location, but also quietly launch air combat missiles from the RVV-SD from inside the armament compartments. One thing can be said for sure - not at all accidentally, two days after the arrival of the first Su-57 pair, Syrian sources reported the appearance of more similar machines over Hmeimim. In addition to the need to test the above-described PAK-FA BREO modules in close combat conditions (for accelerated launch into a series of fully adapted vehicles), as well as to contain US Air Force activity on Deir e Zor, the deployment of additional 2 fighters in Syrian theater can have a second goal Associated with recent statements by French President Emmanuel Macron and US Permanent Representative to the UN Nikki Haley on the readiness of their regimes to use military force against the strategically important facilities of the Syrian Arab Army. The argument of such plans, as usual, is trivial: “the use of chemical weapons"And the application of" merciless strikes "on Eastern Ghouta, from where rocket attacks from the Free Syrian Army are regularly launched on Damascus.