The documentary military-analytical video trilogy "Inside Navy Strategies - Carrier Strike Group 8", well-known in the Western European segment of the Internet, has become the subject of increased attention of domestic and foreign observing and expert communities. Published on the German YouTube channel "WELT Documentary" in December 2019 and covering details of the deployment and operation of the 8th carrier strike group ("Carrier Strike Group - 8 / CSG-8") of the US Navy, led by the flagship nuclear aircraft carrier CVN-75 USS "Harry S. Truman", as well as details of its interaction with surface components of the German and Norwegian navies in the framework of naval exercises regularly held in various regions of the North Atlantic.
True capabilities of SMART-L MM / N radar detectors, due to the use of digital L-band antenna arrays
One of the most interesting and controversial episodes of this trilogy is an overview of the radar architecture of the German anti-aircraft / anti-submarine defense frigate F221 "Hessen" of the "Sachsen" class ("Saxony"). In particular, at the time of the demonstration of the 3D model of the frigate "Hessen", the authors of the material focused the audience's attention on the highest energy potential of the upgraded radar detector SMART-L MM / N, which provides the brainchild of the Dutch division "Thales Nederland BV" (a subsidiary of the French transnational industrial corporation " Thales Group "), the detection range of medium-altitude and high-altitude air objects is of the order of 1700-2000 km, which is more than 5 times higher than the performance of multifunctional radars with 4-sided PFAR AN / SPY-1B / D / D (V), which are an integral component of combat information controllers systems "Aegis Baseline 4-9", integrated into the avionics of the cruisers URO class "Ticonderoga" (CG-65 - CG-73) and all modifications of destroyers of the class "Arleigh Burke".
Based on the above information, a very suspicious observer, unaware of the principles of the functioning of the transmit-receive paths of modern radars, may come to the conclusion that the deployment and stay in the western parts of the Black and Baltic seas of NATO naval strike groups with air defense frigates with " far-sighted "decimeter detection radars SMART-L / S1850M (frigates of the classes" Saxony "," De Zeven Provincien "," Iver Huitfeld "and" Daring ") is fraught with continuous monitoring of our aerospace up to Moscow, the Urals and the Kapustin Yar test site "With the final receipt of comprehensive information on the implementation of patrolling and redeployment of tactical aviation Russian Aerospace Forces, as well as carrying out field tests of prototypes of promising supersonic and hypersonic aerospace attack vehicles by the Russian Aerospace Forces.
Indeed, having promising low-element active-passive digital antenna arrays (CAR) based on 12-16-bit digital-to-analog converters (phase shifters of the transmit-receive modules of standard AFARs have a capacity of only 5-7 bits), the radars of the SMART-L MM / N line are able to maintain high efficiency of operation (with a minimum decrease in the detection range) in a much more complex jamming environment than most of the known radars with active phased array.
This feature is due to the fact that the 2 - 3 times higher digit capacity of digital-to-analog converters of the CAR (in comparison with the phase shifters of the AFAR) allows the formation of deeper "dips" of the directional diagram in the sectors of the enemy's electronic warfare equipment. As for increasing the range of SMART-L MM / N radars up to 2000 km. The implementation of this quality was facilitated by equipping each transmit-receive module of the CAR not with a standard microwave transistor, local oscillator and attenuator (typical for AFAR), but with a high-sensitivity low-noise amplifier with high frequency selectivity and a reprogrammable FPGA gate array.
Meanwhile, in this case, we are talking exclusively about the instrumental detection range of such large stratospheric and mesospheric objects as: intercontinental ballistic missiles on the ascending branch of the trajectory (with the most acceptable angles of irradiation in the side projections of the hulls), as well as long-range and strategic bombers-missile carriers Tu- 22M3M and Tu-160M2, which have an effective reflecting surface of about 15 and 25 square meters. m respectively. In the same turn, the detection range of promising multifunctional Su-57 fighters (EPR 0,2ꟷ0,3 sq. M), advanced hypersonic aeroballistic missiles Kh-47M2 "Dagger" (0,03ꟷ0,05 sq. M) and other subtle air assets attacks will increase only slightly and will continue to be 350, 150 and less kilometers, respectively.
The effectiveness of the advertised Dutch SMART-L MM / N radars (and British analogs S1850M) will be adversely affected by the presence of a small number of transmit-receive (16 units) and receive (8 units) modules operating in the low-frequency range of L-decimeter waves, which provides for a significant reduction in the resolution of these radar systems to a level that excludes the possibility of their use as target designation means for long-range missiles of the SM-6 (RIM-174 ERAM) family in the case of SMART-L integration into the network-centric naval air defense systems NIFC-CA, construction concept and the use of which has been studied by NATO's mixed aircraft carrier strike groups for at least five recent years.