For Russian underwater fleet various promising remedies are being developed. A few years ago it became known about the start of production of the Burak-M electronic warfare system, designed to counter the enemy’s anti-submarine defense (PLO). Now new details of this project have become known - technical and operational.
The public first learned about the Burak-M submarine electronic warfare system in August 2018 from domestic press reports based on data from the government procurement portal. It was reported that the Ministry of Defense in the coming years plans to purchase several new models of equipment and equipment for submarines.
The Ministry of Defense planned to acquire ten Burak-M complexes. In 2019 and 2020 It was supposed to get five units of such equipment. The total value of the ordered products is 300 million rubles. In 2019, 149,2 million rubles were allocated for the purchase of the first half of products. The remaining should have cost 150,7 million. The selection of the supplier was carried out in a closed format.
The Burak-M product was designated as a complex of electronic warfare with deep jet mines. Technical details were not given, they became known much later.
The same messages featured another purchase. The Ministry of Defense was going to acquire ten anti-torpedo protection devices “Udar-1”. Deliveries were also expected in 2019-2020. The total cost of the products is 200 million rubles. Thus, in the next two years, the military department intended to invest 500 million rubles in the protection of submarines.
The other day, new information about the Burak-M complex, obtained from unnamed sources in the military department, became known. On March 12, Izvestia published them. The architecture, principles of work, mission and other features of the project are announced.
Earlier it was reported that "Burak-M" is a complex of electronic warfare for submarines. This information is confirmed by new messages. The complex is designed to counter enemy surveillance, detection and communication systems. The complex should suppress the radio channels of a potential enemy, making it difficult or precluding the operation of anti-submarine defense.
The key element of the complex is a buoy with special electronic equipment. The submarine can carry several such items and throw them away as needed. Coming to the surface of the water, the buoy turns on its equipment and suppresses radio communications in the immediate area.
One of the main means of searching for submarines at present is the dumped radio sonar buoys (RSAB) used by anti-submarine aviation. After setting in a given area, such equipment communicates with the carrier using a radio channel. The Burak-M complex buoy should “jam” this connection, preventing data exchange. As a result, the enemy loses the ability to track a certain zone.
Loading the RSAB on board the P-3C Orion
The size and weight of the promising buoy has not yet been disclosed. The operating ranges of the transmitter, the parameters of the jamming station and the range also remain unknown. Perhaps this data will be revealed in the future.
It is reported that a promising EW complex can be used on several types of domestic submarines. Such equipment is obtained by strategic submarine missile carriers of projects 955 Borey and 667BDRM Dolphin. Recent reports also mention the use of Burak-M on diesel submarines. Probably, we are talking about modern ships pr. 636.3 "Varshavyanka".
According to Izvestia, the electronic warfare complex has already been brought up to tests on standard carriers. On which submarines it is installed and is being tested is not specified. Also, the deadlines for the completion of current activities and further plans of the Ministry of Defense remain unknown. Apparently, after the completion of the current tests, a decision will be made on the adoption of new buoys for service.
The prospects of the complex
According to data from 2018, the navy was to receive two batches of five Burak-M complexes in each. Judging by the cost of all purchases and individual products, we are talking about complete sets of tools for installation on carrier submarines, as well as some stock of buoys spent during operation.
Ejection of a buoy by a patrol helicopter
Thus, in the near future it will be possible to equip up to 10 submarines of all main classes and types with new protective equipment. Of the last News it follows that such equipment will first of all be received by strategic submarines, including old project 667BDRM. Also, "Burak-M" can be installed on multipurpose nuclear and diesel boats.
The advantages of such a modernization of submarines are obvious. "Burak-M" will be able to disrupt the activities of the PLO of the potential enemy and thereby contribute to the successful work of submariners. Unable to timely receive data from their RSLB, the enemy loses control over the water area. Accordingly, the submarine gets the opportunity to secretly go through the desired area or disrupt observation of itself.
It should be noted that some of the Russian submarines regularly have on board their own means of electronic reconnaissance and electronic warfare. The appearance of a new electronic warfare complex will expand their capabilities. This will be facilitated by the ability to reset the buoy with the jamming station.
However, the proposed method of combating enemy PLO can have certain problems. So, the appearance of a source of interference and loss of connection with sonar buoys can indicate to the enemy the presence of a submarine. Her further search can be carried out by means independent of radio communications. However, such a search will not be simple and quick, and the submarine has sufficient time left to leave the dangerous area.
Modern patrol plane P-8A Poseidon
In the future, the appearance of electronic warfare buoys can affect the development of the RSL, which will lead to an increase in the characteristics of communications or the introduction of new solutions that ensure a stable exchange of data even in the presence of electronic warfare.
Threats and answers
Currently, leading foreign countries are modernizing their PLO systems. New patrol aircraft and various auxiliary equipment are coming into service. The development of fundamentally new anti-submarine boats and equipment is underway. For example, the United States and its allies are developing new Boeing P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft carrying a wide range of different equipment. Experiments are underway on the topic of crewless boats PLO operating in the "flock."
Such a development of foreign technologies and equipment is a serious threat to the Russian submarine forces - first of all, for the marine component of the nuclear triad. Strategic missile carriers on patrol routes should be protected from the detection and tracking of potential enemy PLO.
An important component of protective equipment is electronic warfare systems. Some of our submarines already have such equipment, and now they are testing a new system of this kind. The timing of the completion of the tests of the Burak-M complex and its subsequent adoption into service is still unknown, but the positive consequences of the appearance of such systems are obvious.