Military Review

Features of the release of A-50U aircraft and the price of modernization

45

Experienced A-50U, rebuilt according to the serial project and received the name "Sergey Atayants". Photo Russianplanes.net


In the mid-eighties for the USSR Air Force was created the latest aircraft long-range radar surveillance and control (AWACS) A-50. The operation of such equipment continues to this day, and it is an essential component of the videoconferencing system. However, the A-50 in its original form has long failed to meet current requirements, which is why a gradual modernization of the available fleet is carried out according to the modern A-50U project.

Features of the park


Serial production of A-50 aircraft was carried out during the eighties and ended in the early nineties. During this time, the industry transferred to the customer approx. 30 aircraft with special equipment. The equipment was distributed between four parts in different strategic directions. However, after the collapse of the USSR and the ensuing problems, reduction and disbandment began.

According to various sources, currently there are about twenty A-50 planes of the original and modernized version in the Russian aerospace forces. The bulk of this fleet is the base A-50 - approx. two thirds. 6 modernized A-50Us have already been put into operation. Also, several aircraft of the old version are in storage.

All combatant A-50 (U) now belong aviation the combat use group of AWACS aircraft from the 610th Combat Use and Retraining Center. The equipment is based on the Ivanovo-Severny airdrome and, if necessary, can be transferred to other parts of the country or even to foreign bases.

Features of modernization


The onboard equipment of the original A-50 is built on the technology of the seventies and eighties with all their features and limitations. In this regard, in 2003, the development of a modernization project began, the task of which was to replace obsolete equipment with an increase in the basic flight and target characteristics.


Plane no 33 after repair and modernization. Photo Russianplanes.net

The head developer of the A-50U project was the Vega radio engineering concern. Repair of aircraft and replacement of equipment was ordered by the Taganrog ANTK them. G.M. Berieva. To date, these organizations and subcontractors have mastered all the modernization processes and continue to produce equipment.

The serial A-50s carried the Bumblebee or Bumblebee-M radio complex, including a three-coordinate radar with a large-sized dorsal antenna and an Argon-50 digital computer. It also provided for the installation of communication equipment for transmitting data on the air situation and control. The operability of all special systems was provided by a number of units for various purposes.

The A-50U project provides for the complete replacement of the radio complex. The new complex from Vega includes digital radar and computing facilities based on a modern elemental base, including import. Due to this, the basic capabilities for detecting air, ground or surface targets have been improved. In accordance with the new requirements, communication and data transmission facilities have been updated. Jobs so-called tactical crews rebuilt using new equipment. In particular, the electron beam monitors are replaced by liquid crystal monitors.

An important feature of the A-50U project was a sharp reduction in volumes for the placement of special equipment, as well as a decrease in energy supply requirements, etc. This allowed to free up space under the recreation compartment for the flight and tactical crews. It has space for accommodation, a buffet and other necessary equipment.


Airplane "33" after repainting and naming. Photo by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation / mil.ru

According to the results of such modernization, the A-50U retains the basic flight performance of the base machine, but receives the benefits associated with the new target equipment. It also simplifies operation and management. However, the project was criticized: first of all, due to the widespread use of imported components in the absence of domestic analogues.

Production features


In the second half of the two thousandths, Vega and TANTK them. Beriev carried out the repair of the drill A-50 (serial number 58-05, airborne 37) with modernization according to the project with the letter "U", after which his tests took place. In 2009, state tests were completed with a recommendation for the adoption of equipment for armament and production. Soon a contract was signed for three A-50U aircraft.

In 2010, the serial modernization of equipment began. The first to fly on her combat aircraft with b / n 47 (s / n 40-05), which began service in 1984, the main work was completed in the summer of 2011, after which the tests took place. On October 31, the finished A-50U was handed over to the customer. Soon, the car returned to Ivanovo and continued its service.

By this time, aircraft n / a 33 (s / n 41-05) arrived at TANTK, which was to become the second production A-50U. Modernization work took a little more than a year, and in April 2013 the plane was returned to the Air Force. Later this car was named “Vladimir Ivanov” in honor of the chief designer of radio equipment for the A-50.


"Taganrog" flies to the duty station, March 6, 2017 Photo UAC / uacrussia.ru

In March 2014, an act was signed on acceptance of the third serial A-50U with a personal name “Sergey Atayants” - it was named in honor of the chief designer of the aviation part of the complex. It is curious that earlier this aircraft was used as an experienced one. After testing, it was finalized and made the third serial.

The transfer of “Sergey Atayants” completed the first contract, and in the same 2014 a new order appeared. The Taganrog aircraft was upgraded along it (b / n 41, s / n 63-05). Its first flight after modernization took place in December 2016, and on March 6, 2017, the car was handed over to the customer. In December 2018, the A-50U with b / n 45 (s / n 71-05) returned to the VKS

The next was a 1988 aircraft built with b / n 42 (s / n 64-05). Work on it began in 2017 and lasted more than a year. On March 28, 2019, he was transferred to the VKS. At the moment, the A-50U b / n is the “extreme” machine of its type, which completed the modernization. New aircraft after him have not yet been transmitted.

Plans for the near future were announced last year, simultaneously with the delivery of the sixth aircraft. The management of the concern "Vega" said that at TANTK them. Beriev is already undergoing work to repair and re-equip the next A-50. According to plans, he will return to service in 2021.


A-50U, b / n 45 - the sixth serial. December 6, 2018 Photo by UAC / uacrussia.ru

Recently, new information has appeared about the future of the A-50U project. On May 18, Izvestia reported that the delivery of two planes at once was planned for 2021. An unnamed source in the defense industry also indicated the cost of the work. The modernization of each of the aircraft will cost the Ministry of Defense more than 600 million rubles.

Features of the future


Thus, to date, six combat aircraft have undergone modernization to the A-50U, and two more will join them soon. Of the two dozen cars, eight will correspond to the newest project. It is possible that a new order is already being prepared, and over the next few years the number of updated A-50s will increase.

It should be noted that the prospects of the A-50 (U) aircraft directly depend on the progress and success of another project. For several years, the development of the promising AWACS A-100 Premier aircraft has been ongoing. The bulk of the design work was completed, and in 2016, tests of a flying laboratory based on the serial A-50 started. A year later, a full-fledged prototype was completed and lifted into the air.

It is expected that the A-100 will go into service in the early twenties, and production aircraft of this type will begin to complement the existing A-50 (U). The Ministry of Defense has not yet told how it plans to update the fleet of AWACS aircraft after the advent of a fundamentally new model. It can be assumed that the construction of serial A-100s will not stop the modernization of the A-50 to the “U” state. At the same time, the ratio of the number of new and updated cars will constantly change.

However, the newest A-100 is still not ready for production and operation in the army, and therefore the A-50U remains the newest model of its class in the Russian Aerospace Forces. The release of such equipment continues, although not at a high pace. Such measures allow not only to maintain the desired state of the fleet, but also to increase its potential. In the near future, it is the A-50U that can become the basis for a group of AWACS aircraft, and this status will remain for at least several years.
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  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 20 May 2020 05: 25 New
    -1
    on a modern elemental base, including import. Due to this, the basic capabilities for detecting air, ground or surface targets have been improved.
    Opportunities have grown, but sustainability has declined, no? repeat
    1. Mitroha
      Mitroha 20 May 2020 06: 29 New
      13
      Like many news about the modernization or production of military equipment, this leaves a double impression.
      The fact that production is ongoing, modernization is being carried out, and promising weapons go all the way to mass production and supply to the troops cannot but please people who sincerely love their homeland and the RF Armed Forces.
      On the other hand, the terms that are required for this cause bitterness, but what is there, gnashing of teeth. What is behind this? Underfunding, poor organization of production, personnel shortage or theft? To find the answer to these questions and start solving them already yesterday, they should have the highest priority. Without organizing continuous production and quality production, monitoring deadlines and spending money, with real penalties for disruption or embezzlement, the entire rearmament and modernization program has such a feeling , which is not due to the work of the relevant structures, but in spite of. I understand that many will say now not a war, why tear and spend budgetary funds, but even in the fact that now it’s not a war, the presence of Russia played a huge role, making an attack on our country unacceptable to the aggressor.

      PS What kind of sleepers for all the comments with minuses ran?
      1. bayard
        bayard 20 May 2020 07: 16 New
        +6
        Quote: Mitroha
        PS What kind of sleepers for all the comments with minuses ran?

        Ukraine - Sumerians have fun.
        The working day has begun.
      2. K-612-O
        K-612-O 20 May 2020 17: 36 New
        0
        No, you’re wrong, the terms of modern developments are greatly lengthened, just because of modern ERI, and the complexity of building an architecture and its synchronization and switching. In Rosatom as well. Plus, the requirements of colleagues from the Moscow Region, when the layout already needs to be licked almost to the prototype.
      3. Vita vko
        Vita vko 20 May 2020 22: 14 New
        +5
        Quote: Mitroha
        On the other hand, the time frames required for this cause bitterness.

        Do not make a tragedy out of this. One must still understand that the AWACS aircraft is not intended to create a continuous radar field or to carry out combat duty over the territory of Russia. Ground-based radio units with guidance points are much cheaper. Therefore, the A-50U should be classified as an offensive type of weapon, the main purpose of which is to create conditions for gaining air supremacy in a region where, in principle, the deployment of land or sea infrastructure for guiding combat aircraft is not available. Therefore, the slow pace for the modernization of the A-50U and the creation of the A-100 are more likely connected with the priorities of the General Staff for conducting defensive air operations, and not with some kind of malicious intent.
      4. NEOZ
        NEOZ 21 May 2020 15: 45 New
        0
        Quote: Mitroha
        staff shortage

        Quote: Mitroha
        To find the answer to these questions, and it is necessary to start solving them already yesterday, they should have the highest priority.

        How many children do you have?
    2. 3danimal
      3danimal 20 May 2020 07: 02 New
      +2
      Element base has never been a strong point. The absence of all the necessary modern components does not mean the need to remain at the level of the 80s.
      1. FID
        FID 20 May 2020 12: 37 New
        0
        [Quote] [/ quote]
        Today, in China, ERE is purchased.
        1. 3danimal
          3danimal 21 May 2020 00: 10 New
          -1
          The main thing is not to go against China wink It’s good that he has no territorial claims against us good
          1. Diverter
            Diverter 24 May 2020 22: 38 New
            0
            unfortunately has
            1. 3danimal
              3danimal 25 May 2020 21: 09 New
              0
              It was an irony ..
  2. kjhg
    kjhg 20 May 2020 06: 20 New
    +5
    Given the current financial situation, Russia cannot provide for the mass production of the A-100. It is necessary to take advantage of the world experience of the USA, Israel and other countries that have created inexpensive, but efficient AWACS based on small twin-engine aircraft Hokai and Embraer.

    There is also a suitable platform - this is the IL-114-300
    1. Ka-52
      Ka-52 20 May 2020 06: 43 New
      +1
      Given the current financial situation, Russia cannot provide for the mass production of the A-100. It is necessary to take advantage of the world experience of the USA, Israel and other countries that have created inexpensive, but efficient AWACS based on small twin-engine aircraft Hokai and Embraer.

      if you do not turn your head on for a long time, having come off about politics, then you might realize that both the Boeing E-3 Sentry and Grumman E-2 Hawkeye have their own specific tasks that are not mutually exclusive. Hokai is primarily a deck carrier (!) Working in the interests of radar reconnaissance and AUG electronic warfare (only 3 out of 14 squadrons are based on ground airfields). E-3, included in AWACS, operate not only in the long-range radar surveillance mode, but also as control centers and control the situation in the air. When one such fool manages air traffic in the whole region, as for example it was during the war in Iraq.
    2. iouris
      iouris 20 May 2020 16: 14 New
      -3
      Our processors are the largest in the world!
      1. Cypa
        Cypa 29 June 2020 09: 18 New
        0
        Yes, this is a chip
    3. K-612-O
      K-612-O 20 May 2020 17: 37 New
      -1
      No, we can do everything, the main thing is to bring the prototype to mind
    4. NEOZ
      NEOZ 21 May 2020 15: 49 New
      -1
      Quote: kjhg
      who created inexpensive but efficient AWACS aircraft based on the small twin-engine aircraft Hokai and Embraer.

      and how effective?
      Can you give a comparative analysis of the efficiency of the A50u / Avax / AWACS based on small twin-engine aircraft Hokai and Embraer?
      1. kjhg
        kjhg 21 May 2020 16: 44 New
        +3
        Quote: NEOZ
        and how effective?

        Effective enough. For clarity, you can take the example of Israel. Israel used the Hawkeye E-2C very effectively in 1982 during the armed confrontation with Syria. Four Hokai, replacing each other, patrolled airspace in the conflict zone almost around the clock.
        Then Israel itself created 2 AWACS aircraft, continuing to use Hokai, based on the Boeing 707, as well as the United States Avax. But in the 2000s, Israel created a new AWACS aircraft based on the small twin-engine Gulfstream G550 business jet. In terms of range and duration of flight, this aircraft significantly exceeds our A-50U: 11,8 thousand km versus 7,5 thousand. In terms of detection range, the number of targets and guided fighters they are equal. The price of the aircraft, the cost of operation and an hour of flight are not worth talking about. The large, heavy, four-engine A-50U loses clean. No, it is clear that the A-100 will be better than the A-50U, but is it enough to justify all this? Still, Jews are not fools; they can count money. Everything is clear with the Americans - they do not save. But the British also made an AWACS aircraft based on the small Bombardier. My opinion, we need 10 A-100 units based on I-76 and several dozen based on small aircraft.
  3. bayard
    bayard 20 May 2020 06: 24 New
    +3
    Six modernized over so many years ... The pace does not shine. But at least at least some kind of update.
    What is the problem with such slowness? Lack of own element base and import sanctions? Or weak contractor capacity? You need to have at least 30 of these aircraft in service. And with "Premier" red tape. They planned to build about 50 pieces. , and more recently they raised the issue of creating an AWACS aircraft based on the Tu-214, and also about 50 pieces. are going to have. Is it instead or together?
    Such demanded aircraft will be modernized one by one in 1,5 - 2 years ... 6 years of war in the Donbas and tension with NATO, 5 years of participation in the Syrian conflict, Japan's claims to the Kuril Islands ... And nothing accelerated the pace of modernization of critical aircraft for the videoconferencing.
    Amazing logic and composure. what No. Apparently by 2030 another 6-7 units will be modernized, and there ... and the A-100 will mature ... Maybe ... repeat
    1. kjhg
      kjhg 20 May 2020 06: 52 New
      +4
      Quote: bayard
      What is the problem of such slowness? Lack of own elemental base and import sanctions? Or contractor weak capacities?

      Rather, all taken together. The company was unable to fulfill the MO order of 2013 for the supply of 6 Be-200 aircraft. Therefore, it was annulled by the MO. This is not the only terminated contract. Today the plant is on the verge of bankruptcy and complete closure. I don’t think it will come to this. Last winter they wrote that a reduction of 30% of employees is expected. Against this background, it is foolish to hope for some kind of acceleration of the modernization of the A-50U and the creation of the A-100. The article should have mentioned this.
      1. bayard
        bayard 20 May 2020 07: 11 New
        +7
        The affairs of capitalism are miraculous. what
        The fact that the Be-200 order was disrupted is just not surprising - since 2014, you could not wait for engines from Zaporozhye, the reason is good. But just this could accelerate the work on upgrading the A-50 to the A-50U, since the capacities and personnel were freed. And the circumstances demanded that ... but apparently all the same it was the inaccessible elemental base due to the sanctions ... or the absolute lack of integrity of the plant management.
        Or sabotage.
        Comrade Stalin would dwell on the latest version.
        And he would be right, as always, for the rest are excuses.
        1. Ua3qhp
          Ua3qhp 20 May 2020 09: 13 New
          +7
          "But this is precisely what could have accelerated work on the modernization of the A-50 to the A-50U, since the capacity and personnel were freed."
          Can not. Personnel for the installation of equipment were released, but the equipment that needs to be mounted was not produced, because it was not ordered.
          The situation is such that there is no clarity and money to modernize the entire series. Those. this year they gave money for one plane, next year for another and. etc. but it is not known whether they will give money for next year. Therefore, electronic stuffing is ordered in fact, and for this stuffing, an ECB is ordered in fact, and all this has its own production time, and modernization has been going on for decades.
          1. bayard
            bayard 20 May 2020 10: 36 New
            +7
            Quote: Ua3qhp
            there is no clarity and money to modernize the entire series. Those. this year they gave money for one plane, next year for another and. etc. but it is not known whether they will give money for next year. Therefore, electronic stuffing is ordered in fact, and for this stuffing, an ECB is ordered in fact, and all this has its own production time, and modernization has been going on for decades.

            So I say - Sabotage.
            And at what level this sabotage begins, a matter of investigation (if it comes to that). Do they really sign a contract for each aircraft separately? So it’s not possible to pre-order equipment for cooperation suppliers?
            This is EVIL INTENTION under the cover of idiocy.
            If the enterprise was in a difficult situation and could not build seaplanes, people and capacities were left without work, God himself ordered to expand the order for the modernization of the A-50, to drive two or three aircraft at once, to put things on stream. Both the enterprise will be loaded, and the Army will receive highly demanded samples.
            And the money could simply be redirected - those that were allocated to the Be-200 could be used for modernization.
            This is if the head on the shoulders of the director of the plant and above the hierarchy.
            But capitalism DOES MIRACLES!
            And so it is in almost everything.
            1. Ua3qhp
              Ua3qhp 20 May 2020 13: 18 New
              +1
              "And the money could simply be redirected - the money that was allocated for the Be-200, spent on modernization."
              It is impossible, for this there is a corresponding Federal Law and a bunch of observing lawyers.
              Recently, with payouts to doctors by COVID a case in point.
              1. bayard
                bayard 20 May 2020 19: 18 New
                +1
                Quote: Ua3qhp
                It is impossible, for this there is a corresponding Federal Law and a bunch of observing lawyers.

                So I say - Sabotage.
                AND Wrecking.
                In short - "so we will win"!
      2. Don
        Don 20 May 2020 07: 15 New
        +4
        Quote: kjhg
        The company was unable to fulfill the MO order of 2013 for the supply of 6 Be-200 aircraft. Therefore, it was canceled by the MO

        The reason for this is known. Ukraine has banned the supply of D-436 engines, and so far there is no replacement for it in the country.
    2. V.I.P.
      V.I.P. 20 May 2020 09: 45 New
      +1
      India had the A-50. They are unhappy with them. They ordered a radar and stuffing from the Jews, and they put them on our aircraft. Whatever infrastructure is changed ... ... ... .. But taking into account their purchase of Poseidons, Globaster and Hercules, I think they will refuse our carriers in the near future.
    3. arkadiyssk
      arkadiyssk 20 May 2020 15: 11 New
      +1
      Dear, do not forget that in addition to the desire for the fastest modernization of AWACS, they still need to ensure the possibility of duty in the sky, and for this we need tankers with which we have no less catastrophe. The sense of the fact that the A-50U is driven to Syria and it is half the time at the airport?
      1. bayard
        bayard 20 May 2020 19: 28 New
        +2
        According to the plans for the construction of IL-76MD-90A, 50 were planned. send to complete set A-100 and another 50 pcs - to complete set to the level of the tanker. And everything at one plant was planned to be implemented.
        Name of Beriev.
        HOW were they going to do this, even if they could not organize the modernization normally? And this question is not only to the KLA, but also to the Defense Ministry.
        Who is planning this?
        But the lawyers and managers controlling cash flows are there with a surplus ...
        Capitalism and the market have adjusted everything.
        This is a breakthrough.
  4. Zounds
    Zounds 20 May 2020 07: 40 New
    0
    Tell me, who knows if the A50U can direct missiles at detected targets?
  5. Demagogue
    Demagogue 20 May 2020 07: 54 New
    -1
    And the a-50 and a-100 no longer correspond to modern realities, this is money down the drain. Finding a target with an EPR of 1 m2 over 215 km is a shame. For comparison, the small e-2s is 420 km. And already in the e-2d series. Need drloiu with afar.
    1. Siberian 66
      Siberian 66 20 May 2020 08: 06 New
      +1
      Dear, where did you stole the chipboard documents?
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 20 May 2020 09: 24 New
        +4
        On Wikipedia, the same place as the author of the article.
        1. Siberian 66
          Siberian 66 20 May 2020 09: 56 New
          0
          What is the point of believing open data?)
    2. Ka-52
      Ka-52 20 May 2020 10: 14 New
      +3
      Demagogue (Andrey) Today, 07:54
      Target detection with an EPR of 1 m2 over 215 km is a shame

      it’s a shame to write data from the ceiling. Station A-50 is capable of detecting a fighter class target (EPR F-16/18 - 1.2 km) flying at low altitude against the background of the earth at a distance of 200-400 km, at high altitude - 300-600 km.
      Need drloiu with afar.

      Explore in your leisure time what the AFAR system is and what are its advantages over the VFAR. The power of the emitting signal has nothing to do with it.
      1. Demagogue
        Demagogue 20 May 2020 10: 40 New
        -6
        I don’t communicate with bots. I will leave only the link here http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/topic-599.html
        1. Ka-52
          Ka-52 20 May 2020 11: 17 New
          +7
          I don’t communicate with bots. I will leave only the link here http://militaryrussia.ru/blog/topic-599.html

          hahaha laughing then the "bot" pokes a "not bot" into the fact that the data on this link relate to the previous version of RTK Bumblebee. Although I don't think the bot is interested in it, it is important to have a drink and fly further
      2. Undecim
        Undecim 20 May 2020 10: 46 New
        -2
        it’s a shame to write data from the ceiling.
        And you took your own from the same ceiling - Wikipedia, only a few lines above.
        1. Ka-52
          Ka-52 20 May 2020 11: 20 New
          +2
          And you took your own from the same ceiling - Wikipedia, only a few lines above.

          I read this in Electronics magazine, which was published in PM interviews with developers from Vega. And part of the portal "Aviaport". Wikipedia is your destiny
          1. Undecim
            Undecim 20 May 2020 11: 45 New
            +3
            I read it in the journal Electronics
            So I am in the magazine.
            "Bumblebee-2." Radar radar "Bumblebee-2" is used as part of the upgraded AK ALCO A-50M. The radar provides: the detection and tracking of airborne (including small) targets in free space and low-altitude flight conditions against a underlying water and earth surface; detection and tracking of surface ships; fighter guidance on air targets; removal of front-line and naval aviation for ground and surface targets; passive detection and identification of radar sources. The main tactical and technical characteristics of the radar station "Bumblebee-2": Range of operating frequencies: centimeter. Detection Range:
            - fighters at low altitude against the background of the earth - 200-400 km;
            - fighters at high altitude - 300-600 km;
            - bombers - up to 650 km;
            - ballistic missiles - up to 800 km;
            - cruise missiles with EPR a = 1m2 - up to 215 km;
            - ground targets - 250-300 km;
            Source - Journal Scientific Bulletin of Moscow State Technical University of Civil Aviation No. 221 for 2015.
            1. Ka-52
              Ka-52 20 May 2020 12: 42 New
              -4
              - fighters at low altitude against the background of the earth - 200-400 km;

              we read above in my previous comment - the average EPR of the F-16 fighter after modernization of the 90s of the order 1,2 m2. What thought suggests? Read the applied and fundamental issues of stealth technology. You argue for the sake of argument
  6. Operator
    Operator 20 May 2020 10: 54 New
    -4
    A-50 / A-100 - forever obsolete equipment (more in operation than in production), financing of its modernization and production is a waste of money.

    UAVs drlou steer.
  7. demiurg
    demiurg 20 May 2020 17: 24 New
    +3
    I want everything at once, and most importantly right tomorrow. And an aircraft carrier (and preferably three). And ICAPL in the series, at least a dozen. And frigates. And the Su-57, and his younger brother (who is not there yet), and aircraft AWACS, PLO, RTR and electronic warfare. And new tanks and infantry fighting vehicles, a larger warrior, and new radar, RTR and electronic warfare stations. Sarmatia wants more calibers. And the budget is not rubber.

    PS Who writes about cuts and kickbacks, read about the development of a zumvolt, bmp and sau for the United States. If you want to object, post a photo of the villas of the owners of Raytheon and the Kennedy clan, which Stalin’s authorities have survived, and will survive, apparently, Trump.
  8. Diverter
    Diverter 24 May 2020 22: 45 New
    0
    All A 50 must be upgraded to level U.
    Including those that are on conservation.
    Then divide them into separate squadrons and disperse into 5 strategic directions.
    After the end of the modernization, proceed with the supply of A 100 with a total of 60 pieces.
  9. Pavel57
    Pavel57 15 July 2020 09: 33 New
    0
    It is also useful to have a small YAK-44 type AWACS.