Military Review

RLC 52E6 "String-1". Multilink radar barrier


The principle of building a multi-link radar system 52E6MU

The leading countries of the world are working on aircraft and air attack means with minimal visibility for enemy detection means. In parallel, the creation of surveillance and detection systems capable of detecting such complex targets is underway. One of the results of this work was the Russian RLC 52E6 “Struna-1”. Due to the special principle of operation, he discovers even small and subtle objects.

From research to OCD

By the mid-eighties, several research projects were launched in our country aimed at finding ways to counter the technology of stealth aircraft. A likely adversary has already received new stealth aircraft, and our army needed appropriate means of detection.

In 1986, the Central Scientific Research Institute of Radioelectronic Systems (TsNIIRES) and several other organizations were given the task of conducting research on the so-called bistatic radar. Research took several years and ended in success. TSNIIRES confirmed the fundamental possibility of creating a radar on a non-standard principle.

The direct development of the station was entrusted to the Nizhny Novgorod Research Institute of Radio Engineering (NNIIRT). In the first half of the nineties, the institute carried out new research, as a result of which the development of the radar itself began. In 1997-98 The first prototype of a promising station that received the 52E6 index was sent to the landfill. The name "String-1" is also used. Some sources feature the Barrier-E code.

At the level of theory

The concept of a bistatic radar developed by TsNIIRES and NNIIRT was not new - according to this scheme, the first Soviet locator RUS-1 was built in the late thirties. However, it retained significant potential and was of interest in the context of detecting subtle objects. The essence of this concept is to divide the station into a transmitting and receiving unit, spaced a considerable distance.

A “traditional” active-type radar directs a probing signal of a certain configuration to the target, after which it receives attenuated reflected radiation. The essence of the so-called stealth technology consists in a sharp weakening of the reflected signal, as well as in its redirection away from the radar. Thus, the reflected signal is almost indistinguishable from background noise, and target detection is difficult.

The 52E6 bistatic radar station uses a “clear” location. During operation, the transmitter sends signals in the direction of the remote receiver. By distorting the pulses reaching the receiver, static or moving objects are detected. Further, the radar automation is able to tie the track and transmit data to consumers.

Experienced transceiver post at the training ground

This method of operation allows you to dramatically increase the effective scattering area of ​​the target in comparison with the EPR during the operation of the "traditional" radar. Accordingly, the likelihood of detecting a small, low altitude or inconspicuous target increases. Thus, the creation of a bistatic "transparent" radar station promised great advantages in the context of the development of air defense.

Real samples

The 52E6 Struna-1 radar system passed state tests in 1998. Over the next few years, this product was improved, and in 2005 it was put into service. By this time, the work of the RLC was checked both in test conditions and in military exercises.

A few years after this, an improved complex of version 52E6MU was submitted for testing. Its refinement continued until the end of the decade, and in 2010 this radar station was adopted. By this time, NNIIRT and related enterprises launched production and managed to supply several sets to the army. In addition, one of the products was shown at the MAKS-2009 exhibition.

According to the NNIIRT reports, the first 52E6MU two-link kit was manufactured in 2008. Another one was handed over the next year. Information on new supplies during the tenth years is not available. Nothing is known about export orders.

Technical features

According to open data, the product 52E6MU is a decimetric bistatic / multi-link radar complex operating in the open. All radar equipment is placed in containers on a towed or self-propelled chassis, which simplifies transportation and deployment. The complex includes all the necessary means to block large areas and monitor the air situation.

A set of radar “Struna-1” can include up to 10 transceiver posts associated with a control machine. The complex also includes various facilities and services. Station components are deployed around the perimeter of the protected area, subject to technical constraints. The working facilities of the complex support radio communication.

The RLC 52E6 receiving and transmitting post is a container with a lifting mast, on which the antenna device is located. The latter includes a transmitting array and a receiving headlamp with three beams. Radiation is conducted in a sector 55 ° wide in azimuth and 45 ° in elevation. The post transmits a sounding signal, and also receives signals from the two nearest posts. Processing the received signals, each post determines the presence of air targets. All information about the situation goes to the command post.

RLC 52E6 "String-1". Multilink radar barrier

Antenna device of the transceiver post

RLC 52E6MU can form a continuous radar barrier of arbitrary shape hundreds of kilometers long. The maximum distance between receiving and transmitting posts is 50 km. Depending on the class of the target, the depth of the barrier zone reaches 12,8 km. The detection height is from 30 m to 7 km. Goals are tracked at speeds up to 1500 km / h. Analyzing the incoming data, the automation of the complex distinguishes between bombers and fighters, helicopters, TSA, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages

The radar station “Struna-1” with spaced posts has important advantages over other locators, but it is not without drawbacks. Proper deployment and application of such technology allows you to fully realize its potential.

The main advantage is the ability to detect small or small targets that are too complex for "traditional" radars. Using one 52E6MU complex, it is possible to create a control zone up to 500 km long along the front. Using this technique together with other radar systems, it is possible to create a highly efficient layered detection system that can detect all potentially dangerous objects - regardless of speed, altitude, use of stealth technologies, etc.

The main disadvantage of Strings-1 is the specific configuration of the viewing area. The station creates an extended and narrow “barrier” several kilometers high. This makes it difficult to solve some of the monitoring tasks, which requires the involvement of other radars. An ambiguous feature of the complex can be considered the presence of a large number of different funds deployed at significant distances from each other. This complicates the process of preparing for work.

In general, the bistatic radar 52E6 (MU) "Struna-1" is a specialized tool that can solve special problems that are not available to other existing systems. At the same time, she herself cannot do all the required work and needs the help of other locators.

Technique and reaction

According to well-known data, in the recent past, the Russian army received only a few “Struna-1” complexes, and soon this equipment took up combat duty. According to some sources, the new radar systems are deployed in a westerly direction, where the appearance of subtle air targets is most likely. Complexes 52E6 work together with other locators and complement them.

Despite the small number and specific deployment, RLC 52E6 attracted the attention of foreign experts and the press. So, over the past few years, materials on “String-1” with various intonations have regularly appeared in foreign media from surprise to fear. This reaction is mainly associated with the stated ability of the radar to detect and accompany stealth aircraft. Foreign armies, probably, also drew attention to the “String-1” and made conclusions, but are in no hurry to publicize their opinion.

Thus, in the context of the development of radar systems, a curious situation has developed. A few new-type radar systems are capable of detecting stealth targets in the form of modern attack aircraft and their weapons. With such capabilities, the RLK 52E6MU is able not only to protect the protected areas, but also to deter a potential enemy who relies on tactical and strategic stealth aircraft aviation.
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy April 21 2020 06: 10 New
    Yes, it is difficult to create an ideal that solves all problems, and even pocket one. repeat
    1. 3danimal
      3danimal 26 May 2020 00: 53 New
      The point is the principle of reception and transmission. In addition, such a complex gives only an approximate location of the target in a square of 300x300m.
      1. tima_ga
        tima_ga 19 July 2020 02: 16 New
        In principle, this is enough to calculate the trajectory of the target’s movement, target designation of the air defense system, and there the launch to intercept and the missile seeker will capture and hit the target, in theory. Not?
        1. 3danimal
          3danimal 19 July 2020 05: 43 New
          All these radars are two-coordinate. Most air defense missiles are with a semi-active seeker, you need to illuminate with a radio beam of a centimeter wavelength, or the ARL of the missile's seeker operates at this frequency (this is how accuracy is ensured). Namely, for these frequencies, stealth technologies (glider form + RPM) are most effective. The way out is to use anti-aircraft missiles with nuclear warheads with a capacity of several kilotons smile Well, or you can direct your aircraft. But she will also have problems.
  2. Vita vko
    Vita vko April 21 2020 06: 57 New
    When I first saw Struna at the training ground, the project immediately seemed dubious, despite the heap of advantages of bistatic coherent radar. Too high requirements for branching infrastructure, too low accuracy in determining coordinates, the lower boundary of the radar field does not exceed a couple of thousand meters. But as it turned out later, from the point of view of creating a continuous missile defense field at low altitudes, the String is much cheaper than mobile low-altitude radars, and it is cheaper by an order of magnitude. Therefore, in combination with other airspace control systems, such an addition can increase the effectiveness of an air defense system by several times.
    But it was possible to solve the problem of low-altitude solid radar by means of an agreement with cellular operators and the use of passive radars such as the American "Silent Sentry", the French "Homeland Alerter 100" or the German "Cassidian" of the EADS concern.
    True, we have tension in the North and Siberia with mobile operators, but Struna also requires the creation of a branched infrastructure. In my opinion, dual-use systems would be much more efficient in any case.
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U April 21 2020 08: 43 New
      Quote: Vita VKO
      It’s true that in the North and Siberia there is tension with mobile operators

      Give to everyone penguin a polar bear on a smartphone. )))
      1. tima_ga
        tima_ga 19 July 2020 02: 22 New
        You can do both, but they live in different places: penguins on the southern polis and white bears on the north :)) Penguins in this regard are finally not our guys :)
    2. KVIRTU
      KVIRTU April 22 2020 01: 12 New
      In Baumank they will call it "my 70s", unfortunately ...
  3. Peter is not the first
    Peter is not the first April 21 2020 08: 29 New
    The most important limitation for the Strings is the enormous length of our borders, and in this regard, a large amount for breaking through our stealth borders. All Russia can not be surrounded by Strings. Therefore, this system is suitable for protecting enclaves like Kaliningrad and Koym and for object air defense.
    Yes, and the working altitude, 7 km, and speed, not more than 1500 km / h, are not enough for reliable detection of aircraft, only the Tomahawks detection remains. Therefore, you can still put this system against American missile defense bases in Romania and Poland, all of a sudden there is Tomahawk missiles along with missile defense systems.
    1. alstr
      alstr April 21 2020 17: 14 New
      This speed is enough to detect aircraft near the ground. For, firstly, the speed of the earth is less than at altitude. And secondly, flying with a relief envelope also has a speed limit.
      And at a height other radars already operate, which have a larger range in speed.

      Therefore, the speed is normal. Especially if it is indicated that it is used TOGETHER.

      The same goes for height. The main task of this radar is to close holes at the surface (up to 1000) meters. Everything else is a bonus.
    2. KVIRTU
      KVIRTU April 22 2020 01: 15 New
      You understand, the fact of the intersection of the radiation beam of any
  4. Operator
    Operator April 21 2020 08: 47 New
    Clearing bistatic radars are not suitable for barrier, but exclusively for field detection of low-altitude air targets (up to small UAVs) in cellular coverage areas.

    Barrier bistatic radars operating in the light are purely a budget tool, since it is to detect and overrun such a barrier as two fingers on asphalt.

    Separately delivered information about the clearance of air targets at altitudes exceeding the height of the towers of bistatic radars laughing
  5. YuryPVO
    YuryPVO April 21 2020 08: 47 New
    The principle of diversity radar has been used for a long time. A striking example of the S200 SAM, where the Russian Orthodox Church highlights the target, and the GOS missile receives a reflected signal. As for the application of this principle to create a radar field, the experiments were carried out in Minsk VIZRU on the basis of a network of television repeaters in Belarus. Receivers were created that received television signals and their coordinates were determined by the coordinates of the targets. The equipment of those times was analog and digital processing was not used. As a result, we came to the conclusion that this principle works, but requires serious expenses for creating a specialized system based on digital signal processing, which in the 70s required serious computing systems. The dissertations were protected and the topic discontinued. Efforts were focused on the digitalization of standard radars and methods for processing radar signals.
  6. Usher
    Usher April 21 2020 09: 08 New
    And how in the mountains did she show herself or show? Explanatory team!
  7. knn54
    knn54 April 21 2020 09: 30 New
    -The foreign armies probably also drew attention to the "String-1" and made conclusions, but were in no hurry to publicize their opinion.
    "VO" dated October 18, 2017 Review of Charlie Dao's article titled "How Russia Is Trying to Make American F-22s and F-35s Obsolete Like Battleships." The article was published on October 14 by The National Interest.
    1. 3danimal
      3danimal 19 July 2020 05: 54 New
      IMHO, it's too good a dream to make the measures to reduce the radar visibility obsolete. This will always give a tactical advantage. Like submarines have low noise: we have brought its level to a level comparable to American, instead of persisting, "trying to make low noise obsolete." When a sufficient number of aircraft with low RCS will appear in our country, the intensity of the search for the "imba" -anti-stealth will sharply decrease.
  8. Ua3qhp
    Ua3qhp April 21 2020 09: 32 New
    There is one more drawback in radar "through the light". We see the target when it has already "arrived", in contrast to the classical scheme "for reflection", when we see the target far away and can prepare for the meeting.
    But in certain conditions, such a scheme has its advantages.
    1. alstr
      alstr April 21 2020 17: 16 New
      The problem is that at low altitudes, classic radars may not see anything at all because of the terrain features.

      And at least we'll see something to react in time.
      1. Ua3qhp
        Ua3qhp April 22 2020 09: 37 New
        The radar "in the light" has a very narrow niche specialization.
        And so, for low heights 39H6 is enough. He sees everything. Great potential for modernization.
        1. alstr
          alstr April 22 2020 10: 45 New
          Here is a simple example. Flax area.
          There is a small ridge between the PMD divisions in the Zelenogorsk direction and the border with Finland. As a result, with PMD there are dips at low altitudes. The use of radar in the clearance taken out of the ridge will close this hole.

          And in any case, such radars are useful as a remote control, because even in a flat steppe, the detection range of 39H6 is about 40 km (ideally). The plus is that the light shines more on the side of the target, where stealth is less.
  9. Dmitry V.
    Dmitry V. April 22 2020 13: 41 New
    For the radar to work in clearance, it is necessary that the plane passes BETWEEN two transceiver stations.
    In a combat situation - such stations will not be able to repel the attack and will be destroyed.
    An interesting experiment, with dubious results.
    1. 3danimal
      3danimal 19 July 2020 05: 55 New
      True remark.