Vietnam Air Defense System (part of 3)
After the unification of North and South Vietnam into a single state, peace in Southeast Asia did not come. In 1975, in Cambodia, which borders Vietnam in the southwest, the Khmer Rouge, led by Paul Pot, came to power, defeating the civil war. In fact, China was the only ally of Democratic Kampuchea. The construction of “agrarian socialism” began, which resulted in the destruction of the intelligentsia and urban population. As a result, during the time the Khmer Rouge was in power, more than 1 million people were destroyed as a result of targeted genocide of their own people. In 1977, Cambodian armed groups launched a series of attacks on Vietnamese villages in the border areas with the massacre of civilians. At the same time, the Khmer Rouge destroyed almost all ethnic Vietnamese in the country. The massacre of the civilian population periodically carried out on Vietnamese territory, various provocations and regular mortar attacks left virtually no choice for the Vietnamese, and at the end of 1978 part of the Vietnamese People’s Army with the support of aviation, artillery and armored vehicles invaded Cambodia. The Pol Pot regime was not able to organize serious resistance to the VNA units hardened in battles with the American and South Vietnamese armies, and ordinary Khmer Rouge massively sided with the Vietnamese. The local Cambodian population, tired of the tyranny of Pol Pot, for the most part was not eager to fight, and after the Vietnamese troops captured the capital of Phnom Penh on January 7, 1979, the Khmer Rouge forces retreated to the west, to the Cambodian-Thai border. In this area, they fought a guerrilla war for the next two decades. Since the Vietnamese United Front for National Salvation of Kampuchea, which came to power, headed by Heng Samrin, did not have significant military strength and could not withstand the armed Khmer Rouge troops that had gone into the jungle, the main burden of the armed struggle fell on the Vietnamese army. In fact, from 1979 to 1989, there was a civil war on the territory of Cambodia, in which Vietnamese troops took an active part. In the 80s, the Vietnamese, pursuing detachments of the Khmer Rouge, repeatedly invaded the territory of Thailand. In response, the Royal Air Force, operating from the Utapao air base, launched bombing and assault strikes on them. However, the Vietnamese military air defense did not remain in debt. As a result of ZPU fire and as a result of launches of Strela-2M MANPADS, several Thai OV-10 Bronco attack aircraft and F-5E Tiger II fighters were hit.
The events in Cambodia were observed with irritation from Beijing. After the merger of North and South Vietnam into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, relations between former allies in the war against the United States began to cool. The leadership of the SRV has relied on further rapprochement with the Soviet Union, which at that time possessed greater military and economic power than China. In the second half of 70, the Soviet-Chinese split largely determined the foreign policy of China, and Beijing was objectively not interested in the emergence of a strong state at its southern borders, and even pro-Soviet oriented.
In 1978, the USSR and the SRV concluded an Agreement on mutual military mutual assistance, as well as a number of other agreements regulating the defense and political-economic relations between the countries. As part of these agreements, the Soviet Union was entitled to the creation of naval and military air bases in Vietnam. The parties also agreed on the creation of a collective security system in Southeast Asia, to which, in the future, neighboring Vietnam Laos and Cambodia should have joined. All these actions took the PRC into strategic ticks from the north and south. The overthrow of the friendly regime of China in Cambodia and the actual occupation of the country were the last straw that broke the patience of the leadership of the PRC, who, against the background of failures of domestic socio-economic policy, needed a small victorious war. Beginning in January 1979, a number of armed incidents occurred on the Sino-Vietnamese border, during which the parties repeatedly fired from weapons and mortars. Simultaneously with the aggravation of the situation, the Vietnamese authorities began the expulsion of ethnic Chinese from the border areas, fearing that they were working for Chinese intelligence and could become a “fifth column”. In fairness, it should be said that these fears were partly justified. Only in the second half of 1979 and the beginning of 1980, more than 300 of Chinese reconnaissance and sabotage groups were identified.
The final decision on the commencement of hostilities against the SRV Politburo of the CPC Central Committee adopted February 9. A few days before the start of the conflict, the head of the People's Republic of China, Deng Xiaoping, made a statement that China was going to teach Vietnam a lesson. On the morning of February 17, 1979, of the year 250, a thousand grouping of the People’s Liberation Army of China, after artillery preparation, began an invasion of the northern provinces of Vietnam. The first line of defense in the areas bordering the People’s Republic of China was the Vietnamese border guards and militias from local residents. The fighting took place almost along the entire line of the Vietnamese-Chinese border. During the first three days, PLA units managed to advance in some places 15 km into the territory of Vietnam. In the initial period of hostilities, the main part of the Vietnamese group numbering about 100 thousand people was deployed in positions out of the range of the Chinese artillery fire. The anti-aircraft "umbrella" over the Vietnamese troops provided six anti-aircraft missile and anti-aircraft artillery regiments.
The use of aviation in the “First Socialist War” was rather limited. From the Vietnamese side, MiG-21 and MiG-17 fighters were involved, as well as captured F-5E Tiger II, light jet attack aircraft A-37 Dragonfly and UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. The Chinese, in turn, used F-6 fighter jets in the border areas for aviation support; pilots of these aircraft, who were rightly afraid of advanced Vietnamese air defense, did not fly into the interior of the country. There are no reliable data on the successes of the air defense troops in this conflict, but it can be stated with complete confidence that the very fact of the presence of a significant number of air defense systems and anti-aircraft guns in the depth of the VNA defense forced the Chinese to abandon the large-scale use of strike aircraft. After the start of the Vietnam-China conflict, the Soviet Union provided substantial military-technical and political support to its ally. In particular, Vietnamese military air defense was urgently reinforced by four hundred Strela-2М, three dozens of Shilka ZSU-23-4 and fifty MiG-21bis fighters. During the conflict, transport ships from the USSR and other socialist countries constantly arrived and unloaded at the port of Haiphong.
Chinese aggression against Vietnam did not achieve its goals. Vietnam did not withdraw its troops from Cambodia and did not abandon defense cooperation with the Soviet Union. Having suffered significant losses and met with fierce resistance, PLA units failed to advance deep into Vietnamese territory. The superiority in the number of Chinese Vietnamese largely compensated for their combat experience and determination to defend their country. At the same time, in the fighting from the Vietnamese side, at first, the militia units, poorly equipped with heavy weapons, actively fought. After personnel Vietnamese military units were introduced into the battle, resistance to the invading Chinese troops increased significantly and they were unable to advance deeper into the territory of Vietnam by more than 20 km. At the same time, the USSR put its divisions in combat readiness, stationed in Mongolia, Transbaikalia and the Far East, sent a detachment of warships to Vietnam and in fact presented an ultimatum to the PRC. On March 6, the PRC leadership announced that all the targets planned during the military operation against Vietnam had been achieved. The withdrawal of Chinese troops from the NRW ended on March 16. At the same time, both sides declared their victory, the Chinese declared that they "opened the way to Hanoi" by suppressing the Vietnamese resistance, and Vietnam declared that it had repelled the invasion and inflicted heavy losses on the aggressor, using mainly border guards and militia forces. Most foreign military historians believe that China was actually defeated, and the war showed the weakness and backwardness of the Chinese army, still adhering to the concept of "popular war" by Mao Zedong.
After the withdrawal of Chinese troops from the territory of the SRV, the situation on the border for a decade remained very tense. In fact, prior to the beginning of the 90, armed incidents regularly occurred here, and the territory of Vietnam was subjected to regular artillery shelling. Against this background, in order to devalue the considerable numerical superiority of the PLA in a possible conflict, large-scale deliveries of modern Soviet weapons were carried to Vietnam. Significantly strengthened and air defense troops. Along with the preservation in service of numerous anti-aircraft guns and anti-aircraft guns, the modernization of existing SA-75M anti-aircraft missile systems, more advanced medium-range air defense systems C-75М / М3 Volga and low-altitude C-125М / М1 Pechora were delivered.
According to information published in open sources, in the period from 1979 to 1982, the 14 ZRK C-75М Volga and 526 B-755 missiles were delivered to SRV. From 1985 to 1987, the 14 ADMS of a more modern C-75М3 and 886 B-759 missiles with an extended strike zone were transferred to the year. As for the low-altitude C-125 “Pechora” complexes of all modifications, their Vietnamese SAM systems in total received 40 SAM and 1788 B-601PD missiles.
Almost simultaneously with the supply of modern complexes at two repair plants in Hanoi, built with Soviet assistance, work was carried out to restore and modernize the outdated CA-75M Dvina and P-12 radar, which survived after the completion of the American Linebacker II air operation. However, taking into account that the 10-cm frequency range complexes in the air defense of the USSR were all written off in the second half of the 70-s, and the production of spare parts and anti-aircraft missiles was minimized, then in Vietnam they were on combat duty sometime before the start of the 80-s . Now deserved first-generation SA-75M air defense systems and their B-750В missiles, which participated in repelling American air raids, can only be seen in the museum.
Together with the C-75M and C-125M air defense systems, Vietnamese radio engineering units received surveillance radars of the P-14 meter range with a range of detection of high-altitude aerial targets up to 350 km, and mobile P-18s with a detection range up to 200 km. To ensure the combat operation of the C-125М / М1 air defense missile systems on 70-80, mobile radar П-19 were delivered to the CPB to detect low-altitude targets at a distance of up to 160 km. Simultaneously with the new radar and air defense missile systems of Vietnam, they received two automated control systems 2 ASURK-1МЭ, which were deployed at command posts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
At the beginning of the 21 century, about three dozen anti-aircraft missile divisions were in combat duty in stationary positions in Vietnam. Approximately another 20 complexes were stored in three storage bases.
Judging by the layout of the stationary positions of the air defense missile system, one can come to the conclusion that the object defense of Vietnam has a pronounced focal character. As part of the combined forces of air defense and air force, six air defense divisions, which in turn include the 23 anti-aircraft missile and anti-aircraft artillery regiments. It must be said that for such a relatively small country, this is quite a lot, but as can be seen from the ZRK deployment schemes, they are all located around the most important administrative and industrial centers and ports: Hanoi, Haiphong, Buqiang, Da Nang, Cam Ranh and Ho Chi Minh City. Attention is drawn to the fact that about half of the Vietnamese air defense systems are deployed in the north of the country, around Hanoi and Haiphong, due to the proximity of the border with China.
If 15 back in the active state was 11 СРК С-75, then in 2017 there were only five of them. Also, from 17 to 12, the number of C-125 divisions has been reduced. Apparently, only C-75М3 built in the mid-to-late 80's remained in the ranks.
Currently, the Volga C-75M3 air defense system is definitely outdated. It no longer meets modern requirements for noise immunity and operating costs. In 60-70, when there were no effective solid fuel formulations in the USSR, the use of liquid-propellant rockets, which were very laborious and dangerous to maintain, was justified.
At the moment, outdated single-channel anti-aircraft missile systems are being abandoned everywhere. Vietnam remained one of the few countries where deserved seventy-fives are still in operation. Maintenance of the C-75 in working condition is complicated not only by the need to periodically refuel and drain the liquid rocket fuel and oxidizer, but also outdated lamp element base. There is no doubt that in a few years the elements of these complexes can be seen only in military museums. In the meantime, the few remaining C-75М3 air defense systems continue to guard the sky of Vietnam.
It is noteworthy that of the five C-75М3 air defense systems deployed in the territory of the SRV, only two are on permanent combat duty. This follows from the fact that the launchers of the other complexes lack anti-aircraft missiles. However, with low-altitude C-125 the situation is about the same. About half of the “hundred-twelve” stands are either without any missiles at all, or no more than 30% of missiles are loaded on the launchers. Obviously, this is due to the fact that the Vietnamese air defense command is trying in this way to save a very limited resource of the hardware of the complexes and anti-aircraft missiles.
About half of the positions of the Vietnamese low-altitude systems C-125 deployed on the coast. It is known that anti-aircraft missiles B-601PD quite effectively in addition to air targets can be used against ships.
In the 21 century, in connection with the development of a service life, the C-125 complexes built on the 70-s of the early 80-s were written off. However, the most recent and sophisticated C-125М1 air defense systems approximately 10 years ago were upgraded in Belarus by Tetrahedr to the level of Pechora-2TM. In the course of modernization and repair, the lamp element base was transferred to solid-state electronics. Thanks to the use of missile guidance methods and the principles of radar signal processing, a modern optical-electronic system and a number of other developments, the probability of hitting a target by one rocket is increased, dual-channeling is implemented for the target, the interim immunity is enhanced, and the boundaries of the lesion are expanded.
However, the modernization of part of the anti-aircraft missile systems, whose age has already exceeded 30 years, does not dramatically increase the combat capabilities of the Vietnamese air defense system to counter modern means of air attack. In addition, in modern conditions it is extremely important to have a “long arm” as part of the anti-aircraft missile forces - long-range systems capable of striking combat aircraft before they drop aviation weapons of destruction, as well as DRLO planes and jammers, who usually patrol their territory. In this regard, in 2005, Vietnam concluded a contract with Russia for the supply of long-range missile systems C-300PMU1.
One C-300PMU1 division is available in the 361 and 367 divisions of the air defense. Long-range anti-aircraft missile systems are deployed in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. According to open sources, 150 SAM 48H6E was transmitted along with air defense systems, with an aerial target area up to 150 km.
Unlike other countries, the Vietnamese "300" do not carry a permanent combat duty. Their permanent location is not known. Obviously, modern long-range anti-aircraft systems of great value in the framework of a possible armed confrontation with the People's Republic of China are considered as a "trump card" that can be unexpectedly put out at the right time. Beginning with the 2012 year in Vietnam, in the south and the north of the country several concreted capital positions were built, intended for the deployment of C-300PMU1 air defense systems.
In foreign reference books there is information that in the 80-ies Vietnam was supplied with an export modification of the military mobile air defense system “Kub” - “Kvadrat”. However, reliable data on the number of transferred "squares" could not be found. According to SIPRI, three divisions of the Kvadrat air defense system can still be stored in Vietnam. However, there is almost no chance that they will be back in operation. According to information published in the Vietnamese media, several years ago, six divisions of the medium-range Buk-М2Е and 200 ЗР 9М317МЭ were acquired in Russia several years ago in Russia. Vietnam also negotiated with India regarding the purchase of the Akash air defense system, which is based on the Kvadrat air defense system. However, the practical implementation of the contract on the part has not yet begun.
In 2015, Lieutenant-General Le Duy Vinh, commander of the combined air defense and air force, in an interview in the People’s Army newspaper, said that the Vietnamese military leadership had opted for the SPYDER-SR air defense complex (Surface-to-air Python and Derby Short Range), developed in Israel. At the same time, the short-range anti-aircraft missile system SPYDER competed with the Russian anti-aircraft missile-cannon complex “Pantsir-S1E” in a tender for equipping air defense forces and the Vietnamese air force. According to the terms of the tender, the air defense forces of the VNA required a mobile short-range and medium-range air defense missile system (ZRPK) to ensure the air defense of ground forces, long-range air defense systems, command posts, communications centers, radio equipment, bridges, airfields from aircraft strikes, helicopters, and winged air defense. rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but according to Vietnamese sources all of Vietnam ordered 20 self-propelled launchers.
The first batch of 6 ZRKs on an off-road truck chassis arrived in Haiphong in July 2016. It is known that the Vietnamese army should receive 250 missiles as a launch vehicle, half of which is a modification of Python (with a range of up to 25 km) and half of a modification of Derby (with a range of up to 15 km).
The SPYDER-SR ADMS was developed by a consortium of Israeli companies Rafael and Israel Aircraft Industries. The complex includes: a reconnaissance and control center, self-propelled launchers with four transport and launch canisters and transport-loading machines.
However, with the "armor" in Vietnam, too, is not all clear. A number of sources, the main part of which are Chinese Internet publications indicate that in service with the Vietnamese air defense units there is from 8 to 12 ZRPK "Pantsir-1SE" on the BAZ-6306 chassis of the Voshchina family. The towed combat module ZRPK weighing about 30 t is armed with two blocks of six missiles 57-6-E and two double-barreled 30-mm guns 2-38M. Phased radar detection stations, an optoelectronic fire control channel, a radar target tracking system and missiles were installed.
This modification of the Panther is mainly intended to protect stationary objects from low-altitude air attack weapons, and in Vietnam it is used to protect C-300PMU1 positions.
Talking about the Vietnamese air defense it is impossible to ignore the anti-aircraft artillery, which played a very significant role in the years of armed confrontation with France and the United States. In the 1975, in the antiaircraft artillery units of the VNA, there were more than 10 000 23-100-mm caliber guns and several thousand anti-aircraft guns.
In the 21st century, the number of towed anti-aircraft guns in the Vietnamese army was significantly reduced. Although the Vietnamese are known for their zealousness and the VNA is still armed with frankly rare samples, such as Tanks T-34-85 and armored personnel carriers BTR-40 and BTR-152, they still got rid of all 85-mm and most of the obsolete 37-mm anti-aircraft guns.
At the moment, about 5000 23-100-mm towed anti-aircraft guns of caliber 14,5-mm anti-aircraft guns remain in service. According to The Military Balance 2016, in active use are: 250 57-mm C-60 guns, 260 37-mm B-47 sparks, approximately 2500 23-mm ZU-23 and more 1000 towed anti-aircraft guns Za-Za-X-CHN-2 and more 4 towed anti-aircraft guns. -100. The rest are, apparently, 19-mm KS-37 and 61-mm 60-K, which are in storage. In the past, information appeared that in Vietnam, for C-19 and KS-XNUMX, which are in fixed positions, modern computerized anti-aircraft fire control systems have been created. However, it is unknown how massively implemented these developments.
At the end of the 70-x began the rearmament of the air defense of the Vietnamese People’s Army. In addition to the already existing small-caliber anti-aircraft guns, machine-gun installations, MANPADS, ZSU-57-2 and ZSU-23-4 received the “Strela-1” air defense missile located on the BRDM-2 chassis. The anti-aircraft missile of this mobile complex had a photocontrast seeker and, in terms of launch range, approximately corresponded to Strela-2М, but carried a more powerful high-explosive fragmentation warhead.
The Strela-1 complexes as part of an anti-aircraft rocket platoon (four combat vehicles) were part of a motor-rifle (tank) regiment's anti-aircraft missile and artillery battery, which also had four Shilka ZSU-4-23. The Strela-1 air defense system in the Vietnamese army was operated until the end of the 90-s, after which they were deposited. At the moment, all these complexes as hopelessly outdated are written off. At the same time, the Vietnamese are in no hurry to part with the well-proven ZSU-4-23 Shilka. According to the Jane's Information Group, 10 years ago there was an 100 "Shilok" in the NRV armed forces. However, taking into account the inevitable failure and decommissioning of outdated equipment, it can be stated that the actual number of operational ZSU in Vietnam is much less.
In addition to the ZSU-4-23 and the outdated ZSU-57-2, there are a small number of Strela-10 SAM systems in the air defense system of the VNA. Recently, 20 combat vehicles, made on the basis of the lightly armored tracked tractor MT-LB, were overhauled at the level of Strela-10M3MB at the Vietnamese plant in Hanoi.
Assistance in modernization was provided by the Design Bureau of Precision Engineering named after A.E. Nudelman. The upgraded air defense system, which received a new optical-electronic system, when using tactical information from external sources, has the ability to detect at night and subsequent shelling of the target for removal to 5 km.
The air defense of small VNA units is provided by numerous 12,7 and 14,5-mm LSDs, which can be disassembled into parts and carried in packs. Also, according to reference data, the Vietnamese Army has more than Strela-700M and Igla 2. However, the main part of the outdated Strela-2M is probably faulty.
For a long time, the tasks of intercepting air targets were assigned to MiG-21 fighters of various modifications. In 2017, the Vietnam Air Force formally counted 25 MiG-21bis and 8 two-seat MiG-21UM. But apparently, these cars will be decommissioned in the near future, after which more than half a century of operation of the MiG-21 in Vietnam will end.
In 80-s, the Soviet side seriously considered the option of deploying long-range S-200В air defense systems in the area of the Kamran naval base. However, the matter didn’t come to practical implementation of these plans, and the air defense of the base was provided by the C-75М3 and С-125М1 SAM systems, as well as MiG-23MLD interceptors, which were piloted by Soviet pilots. In all, 12 MiG-23MLD and 2 MiG-23UB were sent to Vietnam. These aircraft were part of the 165-th mixed aviation regiment based in Cam Ranh.
Since the mid-80s, under the agreement on the gratuitous use of the port of Kamran as a logistics point for the Soviet Naval fleet, the largest foreign Soviet military base was created here. Soviet specialists modernized the mooring complex and airfield built by the Americans during the war, built logistics facilities, a radar station, and radio intelligence stations. Soviet fighters left Vietnam sometime in 1989, and on October 17, 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the liquidation of the Kamran Russian base. This decision was motivated by the fact that about $ 1 million was spent from the Russian budget on maintaining the base in Vietnam. At the same time, our country was actively giving out bad loans and investing heavily in American securities.
After the fall of South Vietnam, the troops of North Vietnam captured the X-NUMX of the F-134 fighter (5-F-87A and 5-F-47E). In July, the 5 th year at the Bien Hoa airbase formed the 1975 th Fighter Regiment, flying on American-made aircraft. Until the middle of the 935-x in the Vietnamese Air Force operated three dozen trophy F-80, the rest of the aircraft were used as a source of spare parts.
Although the American Tiger-2 was inferior to the MiG-21 fighters for maximum flight speed, the AN / APQ-159 BRLS, which was not bad for its time, was installed on it, with an air target detection range of up to 37 km. At the end of the 70, the Vietnamese were working on the possibility of replacing the AIM-9 Sidewinder with the Soviet Р-3С and the 20-mm M39A2 guns with НР-23. However, it is not known whether this was implemented in practice. After the F-5E was removed from service, the F-5E aircraft, which are in the flying state, were sold to collectors from the USA, Great Britain and New Zealand at the beginning of the 90's.
In 1994, Vietnam ordered Su-5SK fighters for KnAAPO 27 fighters and one Su-27CBK fighter for combat training. The contract costing $ 200 million also included the training of fighter pilots and ground personnel, as well as aviation means of destruction. In December, the 1996 of the year to the first six of the 4 generation of fighters was added a new batch of fighters, which included the 4 Su-27SK and 2 Su-27UBK.
After the delivery of Su-90MKK / MK30 fighters began in China at the end of 2-x, Vietnam was interested in these heavy multipurpose fighters. After the aircraft was finalized in accordance with the Vietnamese requirements, in December 2003, the first contract for the delivery of four Su-30МК2 to Vietnam was signed, the transaction amount was $ 100 million. The planes were transferred to the customer after 11 months. In accordance with the contracts concluded in 2009 and 2013, Vietnam received another 32 Su-30MK2. The total amount of the transaction, including aircraft, weapons and ground equipment, exceeded $ 1 billion.
Judging by the available satellite images, the intensity of the flights of the Vietnamese Su-2727SK / UBC and Su-30МК2 is not high and the planes are in shelters most of the time. According to SIPRI in 2017, the Vietnamese Air Force had 11 Su-27SK / UBC and 35 Su-30МК2. One Su-30MK2 was lost during a training flight over the South China Sea in June 2016.
For a long period of time, the air defense troops of Viet Nam were equipped with Soviet-made radars and radio-altimeters. However, currently delivered in 60-70-s radar: P-12, P-14, P-15, P-30, P-35 and altimeters PRV-10 and PRV-11 have expired and written off.
Soviet-made radars P-12 and P-15 on the chassis ZIL-157 in the exposition of the Museum of Aviation in Hanoi
Currently in Vietnam there are more than 25 permanent radar posts. All in all, the VNA Radio-Technical Forces are armed with more than 80 surveillance radars, radio altimeters, and radio-intelligence stations operating in the passive mode.
The most numerous type of radar is the P-18 mobile two-coordinate station of the meter range. All radar equipment is deployed on a self-propelled base of two Ural-375 vehicles. On one of which is placed the radio-electronic equipment with the workplaces of operators, on the second - the antenna-mast device.
As of 2016 year, there was an X-NUMX radar P-24 in SRV. In connection with their obsolescence and physical wear and tear, Vietnam signed an agreement with the Belarusian company Tetrahedr to jointly carry out restoration repairs and upgrades to the level of П-18БМ (TRS-18D).
In January, the modernized X-axis decimeter radar VRS-2017DM, based on the Soviet station P-2, was demonstrated in Vietnam 19. Radars of this type, designed to detect airborne targets at low altitudes, were attached to the C-125 anti-aircraft missile battalions.
The VRS-2DM station is a joint product of the Belarusian company Tetrahedr and the Vietnamese telecommunications group Viettel Mobile. The basic version of the P-19 radar provided for the issuance of azimuth and distance to the target at a distance of 150 km, but the characteristics of the upgraded station were not disclosed.
At the moment, in the vicinity of the Vietnamese air force bases, several P-37 radars are deployed, which are paired with the PRV-13 radio-altimeter. They are mainly used for air traffic control and target designation to interceptors. However, the modernization of these radars, built on a lamp element base, is recognized not rational, and they will be written off in the near future. To replace outdated Soviet-made radar equipment, purchases are made abroad.
Simultaneously with the C-300PMU1 SAMs, two 36D6 radars were sent to the Vietnamese side, mainly designed for issuing target designation to long-range anti-aircraft systems. These radars are well proven and liked the Vietnamese military. In March, 2014, in the port of Ho Chi Minh, two more 36Д6-М (СТ68UM) radars built in Ukraine were unloaded.
Three-coordinate radar 36D6-M of the centimeter range is capable of detecting high-altitude air targets at a distance of up to 360 km. The F-16 fighter, flying at an altitude of 100 m, is detected at a distance of 110 km. The radar is transported by KrAZ-6322 or KrAZ-6446 tractors, the station can be deployed or collapsed within half an hour. The production of 36D6-M radars was carried out by the Ukrainian enterprise Iskra. Until now, the 36D6-M station meets modern requirements and is one of the best in its class by the criterion of “cost-effectiveness”. It can be used both independently as an autonomous air traffic control center, and in conjunction with modern automated air defense systems to detect low-flying airborne targets, covered by active and passive interference.
In addition to 36D6-M radars, four of Kolchug’s Ukrainian-made radio intelligence complexes are being operated in Vietnam. The Kolchuga complex consists of three stations. In a passive mode, it is capable of accurately determining the coordinates of ground and surface targets, their routes at distances up to 600 km inland and 1000 km along the front, and for aerial purposes flying at 10 km altitude up to 800 km.
In connection with the massive write-off of old Soviet radars, Vietnam is in dire need of modern three-dimensional radars with a high level of reliability, automation of detection modes, tracking and issuing information to consumers. Vietnamese experts are closely monitoring foreign news in the field of radar. It became known that the command of the Air Defense Forces and the Air Force of Vietnam was actively interested in the Indian three-coordinate radar with PFAR Rajendra. This multifunctional radar can be placed on a tracked chassis or towed van. According to advertising information published in the Indian media, the Rajendra radar is not inferior in its capabilities to the American station AN / MPQ-53. However, despite active promotion in the foreign market, contracts for the supply of Rajendra radars with foreign buyers have not yet been concluded.
After analyzing all the options, the Vietnamese, based on the criterion of "cost-effectiveness", preferred to purchase a line of Israeli radars. In 2014, the air defense forces received two three-dimensional radar with AF / EL-M-2288 produced by Israel Aircraft Industries.
These radars are among the most modern and can be used to regulate air traffic and issue target designation to anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems. The maximum detection range of the MiG-21 fighter flying at an altitude of 10 000 m is 430 km.
To detect low-altitude aerial targets, the Vietnamese armed forces acquired several EL / M-2106 radar stations. It is reported that a three-dimensional radar with an active phased array capable of tracking up to 500 targets simultaneously. The station has good noise immunity to natural interference and EW facilities.
ELTA's multifunctional ELTA / M-2106 radar detects a fighter target at a distance of up to 110 km, and a helicopter hovering at a low altitude - 40 km. The radar can function autonomously or be part of the SPYDER-SR air defense system.
For permanent monitoring of the air situation over the South China Sea in the central part of Vietnam on the island of Danang with the assistance of the Spanish company Indra Sistermas a large stationary radar post was built.
On Mount Son Tra, which is the highest point of the Da Nang skeleton, at the height of 690 m, three stationary radars are installed in the radiolucent domes. The use of several stationary radars, protected from the effects of meteorological factors, can improve the reliability of obtaining radar information.
It is reported that the operation of the radar complex began in 2016 year. Radar information obtained from fixed stations is used by dispatching services to regulate the flights of civil aircraft and the air defense system of Vietnam.
Although the type of radars in the $ 217 million contract presented to the general public is not voiced, it appears that this is a stationary version of a three-coordinate radar of the decimeter Lanza LTR-25 range with a detection range of high-altitude targets 450 km. Targets flying at low altitudes, these stations detect at a distance of 150 km. Scan speed is 6 rpm. The LTR-25 maximum instrumental viewing height does not exceed 30,5 km. To bring information about airborne facilities to consumers of radar information, Indra Sistermas has supplied high-speed data transmission equipment via satellite and fiber-optic communication channels.
Until recently, the weak point of the Vietnamese air defense system was the non-modern automated control systems. The existing ASUK-1ME automated control systems of Soviet production are obsolete both morally and physically. A number of sources say that the Air Force and Air Defense of Vietnam have recently used automatic control and reconnaissance systems VQ 98-01, VQ-1М and VQ-2. However, it was not possible to find out who developed them and what they are.
In general, assessing the current state of the air defense system of Vietnam, it can be noted that, along with very modern models, the troops have frankly outdated weapons. Also very different are the differences in the means of destruction of airborne targets and in the technique of radio engineering units. In Vietnam, both Western and Soviet and Russian models are in service with weapons. Moreover, the time gap between some copies of equipment and armaments similar in purpose reaches 30 and more years. In the next decade, all stationary anti-aircraft missile systems built in the USSR will inevitably be written off, and this applies not only to openly rare C-75М3 air defense missile systems, but also to upgraded C-125 systems. As it is simply impossible to operate in the tropics, a difficult technique, whose age will reach half a century. In connection with the decommissioning of extremely worn-out anti-aircraft complexes and radars, the question of acquiring medium-range and long-range systems abroad will arise in the very near future. Given the fact that there are not so many manufacturers of modern long-range anti-aircraft missiles in the world, the choice of the Vietnamese military is not great. Based on the criterion of "cost-effectiveness" the best option is the Russian ZRS C-400. Recently, however, Vietnam is trying to diversify imports of weapons and military equipment, and therefore among the possible bidders for the supply of long-range air defense systems can be European Thales Group and the American Raytheon with their SAMP-T and Patriot PAC-3. The same applies to the fighter aircraft, to counter the growing military power of China, the air force of the SRV, given the cancellation of MiG-21 fighters, requires a relatively inexpensive modern light fighter, and in this case Russia cannot offer anything to Vietnam. Our country has sufficiently advantageous positions on medium-range and short-range air defense systems. Modern modifications of the mobile systems of the Tor and Buk family are quite able to interest the Vietnamese military. However, the acquisition of certain types of weapons associated with the Vietnamese-Chinese relations. The military threat posed by the PRC is pushing Vietnam into the arms of the United States, which directly influences the vector of military-technical cooperation.
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