Military Review

Eagle owl station: disrupt attacks on ships

Eagle owl station: disrupt attacks on ships

General view of the product 5P-42 "Eagle Owl"

A few years ago, Russian industry first introduced the 5P-42E Grach station for visual-optical interference. Subsequently, the project 5P-42 "Eagle Owl" appeared with the same functions, but in a different version. To date, the product "Eagle Owl" is installed on several ships of the Russian fleet and should ensure their protection against a number of threats. The principles of operation of the 5P-42 station are very interesting - as is its overall potential.

Operating principle

The Filin product from the Integral pilot plant (part of the Vega concern, Roselektronika holding) is a unit of equipment suitable for installation on various marine carriers. The station itself is a slewing column with a swinging optics unit. The latter includes four lenses and advanced cooling radiators. The station control system is installed in the internal volumes of the medium.

The principle of the Eagle Owl is quite simple. The station has several visible and infrared emitters that emit a powerful luminous flux towards the target. Both constant illumination of the target and modulation of brightness are possible. The station actually flashes at a frequency of 5 to 15 Hz. Constant or modulated light has a negative effect on the observer and does not allow him to solve his task. The range of this effect is determined at the level of 2-5 km. The period of effective use is limited at twilight and at night.

The Eagle Owl can be used on various ships and vessels with a displacement of at least 50 tons, capable of delivering stations up to 2,5 kW of electricity. At the beginning of last year, it was reported that 5P-42 products were already installed on the ships of the Russian fleet - the frigates of project 22350 were the first to receive them. The Filin carriers by that time were the ships Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Gorshkov and Admiral of the Fleet Kasatonov. They received two stations each. The installation of the Owls on the next two frigates of the same series was also expected.

With the naked eye

One of the main tasks of the Eagle Owl is to prevent attacks on the carrier ship using a rifle or other infantry weapons. In such a situation, the station must act on the eye of the arrow used for aiming - with a clear deterioration in accuracy or even the inability to continue the fire.

Promotional materials for the Grach / Eagle Owl project

In the dark, the “defeat” of the enemy occurs due to two factors. The first is directional bright radiation. This factor alone is able to "hide" the ship and thwart the attack. The second method of exposure is associated with brightness modulation. The station constantly changes brightness, which is why the eye does not have time to adapt - regardless of the use of protection. In addition, due to the correct selection of modulation parameters, the Eagle Owl affects not only the eye, but also the nervous system of the enemy soldier.

The developer organization provided interesting information about the results of the station tests. So, testers at distances up to 2 km simply could not see the target. At the same time, slightly less than half of the testers felt the effects of modulation on themselves - it led to dizziness, nausea, and other phenomena that sharply reduced combat effectiveness. 20% of the testers noted the onset of hallucinations. Soon after the cessation of exposure to modulated light, such effects ceased and there were no negative effects.

Optoelectronic suppression

Filin is also capable of suppressing optoelectronic surveillance systems, and in this case, the range increases to 5 km. The principles of work on the enemy’s electronics are the same - powerful radiation in combination with low-frequency flashing.

Last year, the Zvezda TV channel showed footage from the tests of the Filin on a carrier ship. They were shot on modern digital equipment, and they can demonstrate the impact of the station on electronics. When the station is switched on, a pulsating illumination of a complex shape is formed at the place of the ship, which is also complemented by glare from the water. Such a light spot does not allow to consider the silhouette of the ship. Moreover, even a video of a blinking station is not very pleasant to watch.

Thus, in the case of electronic surveillance systems, station 5P-42 operates similar to the existing ground-based optical-electronic suppression systems, such as the well-known tank "Curtain". A bright flash interferes with the observation of the ship, and also does not allow to direct weapons at it. This applies to both complexes with optics on the launcher and optical homing heads.

The product at the manufacturer

Protect against protection

It is obvious that 5P-42 station is not universal and fundamentally invincible. You can find different ways to counter it - however, not all of them will be useful and will allow you to continue to observe or shell calmly.

Attempts to protect the observer’s eye with a light filter are likely to fail. Such protection can reduce the luminous flux entering the eye, but does not affect its flicker. In other words, the eye will still have to adapt, albeit to less intense lighting. Perhaps this will lead to less pronounced negative effects, but will not become easier to observe.

The use of optoelectronic devices with appropriate protection looks much more useful. You can protect yourself from Filin radiation by filters on optics or by corresponding processing of the video signal from the camera. However, this may not be enough. It is not enough to reduce the level of incoming radiation, it is necessary to maintain the silhouette of the ship, which does not have sufficient lighting. Thus, the enemy’s operator will have to adjust the brightness, contrast and other characteristics of the image, after which he will be able to make out the ship with the Eagle Owl.

If we are talking about a monitoring system of one kind or another, such methods are quite suitable for use. With guided weapons, everything is worse: it is doubtful that optical seekers are able to find a real target behind a flash and successfully aim at it.

The enemy can take into account the number of stations on the attacked ship. The frigates of Project 22350 carry two Owls each and, accordingly, can suppress optics only in two broad sectors at a time. It should also be noted that station 5P-42 operates only in the visible and infrared ranges and, by definition, cannot counteract electronic and radar systems. The ship with the Eagle Owl can be detected using the radar and hit a missile with a radar seeker.

Illumination during the work of the Eagle Owl, filmed on a television camera

However, success is not guaranteed. The Eagle Owl is not the only means of detecting and protecting ships. An attack from different directions will still be detected, and the reaction to it will not only be a bright directional beam, since there are electronic warfare equipment and numerous weapons on board the warship.

Special tool

As part of the Eagle Owl project, Russian industry has created an original and interesting system for protecting Navy ships from attacks in the near field. It uses an unusual way of counteracting observers and weapon systems and, during the tests, has confirmed its capabilities. The station is already installed on serial ships and is in operation.

Judging by the known data and estimates, the 5P-42 Filin system is capable of solving the tasks with great efficiency - in the given ranges of conditions and ranges. According to the main "combat" characteristics, it noticeably loses to other naval defenses, but it has important advantages. First of all, it does not have a destructive effect on the organs of vision or electronics. In addition, the station successfully complements other means of protecting ships.

Last year, the leadership of the development organization revealed plans for the near future. The main tasks for the development of the "Owl" relate to increasing the operating range and ensuring compatibility with land platforms. Implementation of such plans requires several years. Also in the past, there was talk of civil modification for non-lethal protection of various objects.

All this means that in the foreseeable future, the "Owls" will enter the arsenal of the fleet and the army, providing them with the necessary capabilities and advantages. Of course, visual-optical interference will not be the only and most effective means of combating the enemy, but their role should not be underestimated.
Photos used:
OZ "Integral" /, t / c "Star"
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. CBR600
    CBR600 3 July 2020 09: 25
    Thanks for the article. When I heard about the Owl, I liked him right away. And of course, in combination with other systems, it is very effective. The civilian versions are particularly interesting. There are still questions about the sector (in degrees, geometrically) of application and the very "light" of the Owl, I mean that at launch a source is formed and, for example, from the side, the Owl should already look like a target. Well, he will not (or will) light up everything at 360 grams. ? But what about a group of ships or ground?
  2. Uncle Sasha_027
    Uncle Sasha_027 3 July 2020 10: 07
    2 - 5 km -)) Are they going to fight with the infantry at sea? Whoever directed the ATGM at least once knows that the filter was lowered, took the beacon below and "catch the fascist grenade" -)) And let him at least faint. Either I didn't understand something, or a scam like the American one - when the grandmas are sawing -))
    1. CBR600
      CBR600 3 July 2020 12: 06
      Yes, her ... The hertz frequency is interesting because the body responds to it. You see this beacon after the filter, and you’re no longer in a bad mood or a migraine attack. He’s not a simple owl. And in battle, but not the limit of all forces- NICE!
      Good thing, believe me. Yes, and in the afternoon, with kilowatt emitter powers, the IR will also light up and the Hertz will also work out its own, even if it is not visually visible.
    2. Passing
      Passing 3 July 2020 13: 16
      It is also unclear what the function of this thing is on the frigate. About counteraction to the rifleman, it’s not even ridiculous, what shootings of a ship with infantry, surround yourself! ATGM divert? The same question, where do they come from in the middle of the sea-ocean? In general, ATGM for a frigate is not even a mosquito bite. The only application that comes to mind is the humanization of the fight against pirates. Those. instead of a rough, manly line of 30mm shells, now, as part of universal feminization, we will scare away pirates with shouts of cache, cache, and uncomfortable glow in their insolent eyes.
      1. Newone
        Newone 3 July 2020 13: 47
        and optical homing heads.
      2. Brylevsky
        Brylevsky 3 July 2020 15: 06
        It is also unclear what the function of this thing is on the frigate.

        As one of the possible options - to counteract guided aircraft weapons with television seekers, guided bombs ... For me, this complex is good only for one purpose: suppressing mass demonstrations, riots, etc. All other tasks that they try to ascribe to him in the Navy are solved by the use of traditional naval weapons. It is possible that this complex was simply imposed on the Navy. It's my opinion.
        1. Passing
          Passing 3 July 2020 16: 01
          And what the two attacked, but I realized, I understood, about the optical and television GOS))). What kind of combat system is this that works only in the dark, and in the afternoon, when an air strike is most likely, is it useless?
      3. SHURUM -BURUM
        SHURUM -BURUM 4 July 2020 08: 42
        I think even a graduate of the Pioneer House will immediately propose a solution to visually protect the observer from flickering. Its prototype is the welder’s electronic mask, which will be closed for the duration of the radiation pulse and open immediately after its completion. That's all. And the observer, as a result, will see a ship in the afternoon, which, as it were, does not radiate. I believe the principle is clear - a synchronous high-speed shutter in the observation channel. So, this flasher is a terrible thing ONLY for aborigines stuck in time and space.
        1. nikon7717
          nikon7717 14 July 2020 18: 32
          Have you carefully read the radiation characteristics? They go in units of Hz, and not in degrees like welding, there is no ultraviolet radiation, a modulated light signal in the range of 5-15 Hz, the mask will not help here.
          1. SHURUM -BURUM
            SHURUM -BURUM 15 July 2020 06: 01
            Dear, I’m doing this professionally. For applied purposes. Everything is working.
  3. iouris
    iouris 3 July 2020 11: 33
    Only at night the eagle owl is terrible, but in the light it is powerless ...
  4. KSVK
    KSVK 3 July 2020 13: 55
    With guided weapons, everything is worse: it is doubtful that optical seekers are able to find a real target behind a flash and successfully aim at it.

    I'm wondering how much investment will be required to add "guidance to the radiation source" in the missile guidance program with an optical guidance head? wink
    1. Dmitry Yakovlev2
      Dmitry Yakovlev2 6 July 2020 20: 19
      So they are already guided by heat and light. When they checked the thermal rockets on the airplane's gas engine, the technician shone with a flashlight in the direction of the rocket. Now, of course, a lot has changed: signatures of known targets are being introduced into the GOS so that the rocket "does not pay attention" to heat and light traps.
  5. The comment was deleted.
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. Boris ⁣ Shaver
    Boris ⁣ Shaver 4 July 2020 13: 35
    it is doubtful that optical seekers are able to find the real target behind the flash and successfully aim at it

    Is it difficult by modern means to calculate the radiation source in the visible range? Probably not. And knowing where the source is, you can aim at its carrier.
    1. Dmitry Yakovlev2
      Dmitry Yakovlev2 6 July 2020 20: 25
      Can. It used to be. But this ability was quickly used to create a false goal.
  9. Narak-zempo
    Narak-zempo 4 July 2020 19: 15
    2,5 kilowatts of power with very dubious use, when a laser of several tens of watts would be much more efficient. You need not shine with an IR projector, which, good luck, a missile can visit, but scan the surrounding area with a laser, as in sniper detection devices. And when detecting optics or just someone's shameless and too curious eyes, an impulse follows that burns the retina of the eye or the camera matrix.
    1. Dmitry Yakovlev2
      Dmitry Yakovlev2 6 July 2020 20: 31
      "which burns the retina of the eye" - I read somewhere about such a weapon. They considered it inhumane and banned production.
      1. Narak-zempo
        Narak-zempo 6 July 2020 22: 30
        Quote: Dmitry Yakovlev2
        read somewhere about similar weapons

        Not a weapon. The usual tank laser rangefinder of the first generations, for example. Then they began to demand a decrease in power and a change in spectrum. Type inhumane.
  10. Klingon
    Klingon 20 August 2020 01: 03
    this flicker can cause epileptic seizures in some individuals. I would add a scanning laser to this optical system to damage the enemy's optics
  11. SOUTH,
    SOUTH, 24 August 2020 14: 55
    Interestingly, in the fight against pirates, you can use the installation?