Military Review

Will the Tu-214R challenge the capabilities of the farsighted E-8C JSTARS? Aces of strategic intelligence in the theater of operations of the XXI century

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It is no longer a revelation to anyone that over the past two decades, the strategic radar / radio intelligence aircraft E-8C JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) continue to be a key help to the US Armed Forces in maintaining proper situational awareness in active areas of theaters of operations. ).


Unlike the A3 / AD strategic radio and electronic reconnaissance aircraft RC-135V / W "Rivet Joint" (equipped with passive multi-band RTR 55000 AEELS and CS-2010 complexes, as well as RER ES- complexes, which regularly patrol near the Crimean, Kaliningrad and Leningrad anti-aircraft zones) 182 MUCELS for direction finding and analysis of frequency parameters of AWACS radars, multifunctional air defense systems radars, radio stations for exchanging tactical information and other radio-emitting facilities of the Russian Aerospace Forces), E-8C JSTARS radar reconnaissance aircraft are more highly specialized machines.

Due to the presence in the electronic architecture of the E-8C high-energy X-band AFAR side-looking radars AN / APY-3, which have the highest level of noise immunity and the ability to operate in the synthetic aperture mode (SAR) with the formation of a radar image of photographic quality (with a resolution of about 1– 3 m), these machines provide the Air Force, Navy and ILC of the United States with comprehensive information on the location and actions of any surface (surface and ground) objects, including not only radio-emitting, but also any radio-contrast targets that are in radio silence.

Moreover, not only their classification is provided, but also identification achieved due to the hardware and software ability of the APY-3 BO radar to determine the EPR of detected objects, as well as to form their detailed radar "portraits" (with a drawing of the hull layouts and even individual structural elements).

Technical advantages of APY-3 radars, ensuring JSTARS maintain the status of "key tools" of strategic radar intelligence of the US Air Force


And even despite the fact that the tasks of strategic radar reconnaissance and target designation in the US Air Force are currently entirely assigned to the aircraft fleet of dozens of RQ-4B Block 40 high-altitude reconnaissance UAVs, the outfit of 20 manned E-8C JSTARS will continue to retain its status The "strategic asset" of the air reconnaissance of the 461st Air Wing of the US Air Force, having gone through several stages of modernizing the element base of the avionics and updating the AN / APY-3 radar software, as well as the integrated information and control systems JSTARS, automatically endowing the E-8C with the function of air command posts.

So, just a few days earlier it became known about the conclusion between the US Air Force and the military-industrial giant "Northrop Grumman" 325 millionth contract for the prolongation of technical support and service of these machines.

This was reported on January 14, 2021 by the military analytical publication militaryparitet.com, citing Janis Zilch, vice president of Northrop Grumman for manned aerial reconnaissance platform programs.

The decision of the US Air Force command to extend the operational life of the E-8C Joint STARS aircraft against the background of the active use of the Global Hawks is far from unreasonable.

In particular, in contrast to the AN / ZPY-2 MP-RTIP side-looking airborne radar systems installed on the RQ-4B Global Hawk UAV and having a survey performance of the earth's surface of about 15 thousand square meters. km / min in the moving target / GMTI mode (with an effective bearing range and target identification of about 170-200 km), the AN / APY-3 integrated AFAR radars of E-8C aircraft are capable of scanning a surface sector with an area of ​​about 50 thousand . sq. km at a distance of about 220-250 km.

Three times higher survey performance of AN / APY-3 radars (compared to AN / ZPY-2) is achieved not only due to the higher energy potential and range of APY-3 (represented by AFAR from 2600 PPM), but also due to the impressive elevation field of view, reaching 120 degrees against 45 degrees for the AN / ZPY-2.

Consequently, in the active area of ​​the theater of operations (against the background of a large-scale high-intensity conflict), replete with the widest range of armored and artillery weapons of a potential enemy, the JSTARS strategic radar aircraft equipped with AN / APY-3 radar is able to provide the US Armed Forces with a much higher level of situational awareness than UAVs " Global Hawk "with a less advanced airborne radar AN / ZPY-2.

At the same time, all the advantages of the E-8C can be demonstrated much more clearly in a difficult meteorological situation, when the SYERS-B / C turret multispectral optoelectronic systems placed on the Global Hawks will lose efficiency due to a multiple decrease in the meteorological visibility range, which means that will be able to even partially compensate for the lower parameters of the AN / ZPY-2 radar.

Intelligence asset of the Russian Aerospace Forces


In the Russian Aerospace Forces, the tasks of strategic radar and optical-electronic reconnaissance / target designation with the proper level of efficiency can be performed exclusively by Tu-214R aircraft.

The Tu-214R strategic radar and optoelectronic reconnaissance aircraft developed by specialists of JSC Tupolev for the first time in stories modern intelligence aviation boasts a unique multi-band MRK-411 radar capable of operating in the subsurface radar mode (using ultra-low frequency bands of the order of 120-400 MHz and pulse duration of 50-200 ns) and providing detection and identification of subsurface radio-contrast objects (enemy bunker infrastructure, mine launchers etc.), which are under the multi-meter size of soils of various types.

This radar system, represented by two AFAR canvases (placed under radio-transparent side beams in the nose of the fuselage), is able to provide the Russian Aerospace Forces, the Navy and the Russian Army with comprehensive information about any actions of a potential enemy, significantly surpassing the MP-RTIP radars of the RQ-4B Global Hawk drones "And more" far-sighted "radars AN / APY-3 of E-8C aircraft (and this is not to mention the presence in the avionics of aircraft of this family of multispectral long-focus OLS" Fraction ", operating in the IR / TV / low-level TV ranges ).

In the same turn, one of the questions still remains open ...

We are talking about an extremely meager fleet of strategic reconnaissance data, which today is represented by only two Tu-214Rs with registration numbers RA-64511 and RA-64514.

To our great regret, this number of Tu-214Rs is enough to obtain proper situational awareness in only one of the three key strategic directions in the European conventional theater of operations.
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  1. Jacket in stock
    Jacket in stock 28 January 2021 05: 49
    +6
    As usual, there is a lot of verbal husk, and the entire content of the article can be contained in one paragraph (which the author himself did this time).
    1. Lionnvrsk
      Lionnvrsk 28 January 2021 06: 11
      +2
      Quote: Jacket in stock
      As usual, there is a lot of verbal husk, and the entire content of the article can be contained in one paragraph.

      yes ..E-8C JSTARS (Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System) ... zones A3 / AD RC-135V / W "Rivet Joint" RTR 55000 AEELS and CS-2010, as well as RER ES-182 MUCELS radar AWACS, radar SAM, E-8C JSTARS ... AFAR radars AN / APY-3, (SAR) Air Force, Navy and USMC ... BO APY-3 EPR radar ... UAV RQ-4B Block 40, E-8C JSTARS base Avionics radar AN / APY-3, as well as JSTARS..Side-looking radar AN / ZPY-2 MP-RTIP, UAVs RQ-4B "Global Hawk" and targets / GMTI (with an effective bearing range and target identification of about 170-200 km), AFAR radars AN / APY-3 .. AFAR from 2600 PPM RLK MRK-411, about 120-400 MHz and pulse 50-200 ns) .. VKS, Navy and SV of Russia MP-RTIP radars of RQ-4B drones "Global Hawk", radars AN / APY-3 of E-8C aircraft (in avionics of multispectral long-focus OLS "Fraction", in IR / TV / low-level TV bands). Tu-214R with numbers RA-64511 and RA-64514 ... laughing
      1. Jacket in stock
        Jacket in stock 28 January 2021 06: 15
        +10
        No, everything is even much simpler
        We are talking about an extremely meager fleet of strategic intelligence data, which today is represented by only two Tu-214R
    2. bayard
      bayard 28 January 2021 06: 44
      +20
      This time the material is presented surprisingly in the case. In the sense of describing the capabilities of American reconnaissance aircraft and the Global Hawk UAV. But the fact that the RF Armed Forces still have special-purpose aircraft ... there are almost no - the trouble.
      There was a program for the modernization of the old Il-20 and Il-22, it seemed that they had driven almost all the available sides for modernization ... there was even a photo report about the Il-20 assembled in one workshop for modernization.
      And silence .
      There is also silence with anti-submarine aircraft. The Il-38 did not succeed in its modernization, like "Vega" decided to modernize the new version ... But in the end - there is almost no anti-submarine aircraft.
      After all, it seems that they have already chosen the Tu-214 as a single base for special-purpose aircraft ... even an AWACS aircraft on its base seems to have been sculpted INSTEAD OF A-100 on the basis of the IL-76MD90A (well, there are no such aircraft! And will not be soon) .. But even rumors about the beginning of a large-scale assembly of Tu-214 for all these programs ... are not heard.
      And such special-purpose aircraft were needed yesterday.
      And there can be no complacency in such serious matters ... request but this is precisely how it is in reality.
      Stupidity?
      Coincidences?
      I don’t think so.

      It's just that the authorities have some other interests - far from the REAL combat readiness and combat effectiveness of the Army.
      1. lucul
        lucul 28 January 2021 14: 27
        -7
        But in the end, there is almost no anti-submarine aviation.
        After all, it seems that they have already chosen the Tu-214 as a single base for special-purpose aircraft ... even an AWACS aircraft on its base seems to have been sculpted INSTEAD OF A-100 on the basis of the IL-76MD90A (well, there are no such aircraft! And will not be soon) .. But even rumors about the beginning of a large-scale assembly of Tu-214 for all these programs ... are not heard.
        And such special-purpose aircraft were needed yesterday.

        AWACS aircraft are primarily attack aircraft, in the sense that they give target designation.
        The small fleet of our AWACS planes suggests that we are not going to attack anyone (NATO), let alone the Tribaltica especially)))
        1. bayard
          bayard 28 January 2021 19: 13
          +7
          Did you serve in the Army?
          What rank?
          In which troops?
          I am telling you as a former officer of the combat directorate of an air defense formation. And just for radar control.
          How are you, so peaceful, going to detect and give target designation for cruise missiles at extremely low altitude?
          If ground-based radars see such targets at a distance of about 25 - 35 km?
          No more .
          And how many such radars we have for the conditional 100 km. borders?
          Such targets are guaranteed and at long range, capable of detecting ONLY AWACS aircraft, and a sufficient number of them is needed to control all main directions and potential theaters of war.
          The Soviet Union planned to build 50 pieces. A-50, the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in 2010 planned to build new A-100s too (!) In the amount of 50 pieces.
          But so far not a single one has been built.
          And the A-50 was upgraded to the A-50U only 6 pieces. for more than 12 years ... angry
          From hopelessness to see, last year there was information about the intention to build the A-100 on the basis (glider) of the Tu-214, because the Il-76MD90A does not want to be serially built. And the equipment and the mushroom will stand there and the whole calculation will fit. Even with more comfort.
          ... But on the Tu-214 they were going to build reconnaissance aircraft (RTR), and RTP aircraft, and PLO aircraft, and repeaters ... For all these plans, the Tu-214 had to be serially driven for a long time so that it would be enough for all this, but ... not being built ...
          ... The crocodile is not caught ...
          Apparently these are the interests of the authorities and the supreme command - about anything, just not about the real combat readiness, combat effectiveness and equipment of the RF Armed Forces.
          But laudatory odes and a crackle of propaganda.
          No No.
          So we will not win.
          1. lucul
            lucul 28 January 2021 19: 17
            -7
            Did you serve in the Army?
            What rank?
            In which troops?
            I am telling you as a former officer of the combat directorate of an air defense formation. And just for radar control.
            How are you, so peaceful, going to detect and give target designation for cruise missiles at extremely low altitude?
            If ground-based radars see such targets at a distance of about 25 - 35 km?
            No more .

            And how does this refute my words? Detecting enemy cruise missiles is a defense, not an attack. Will you argue?
            It was about the fact that AWACS planes issue target designations to the attacking troops.
            1. bayard
              bayard 28 January 2021 21: 31
              +5
              AWACS aircraft provide coverage of the air situation at ALL heights at a distance of hundreds of kilometers (the latest modification of the Sentry has up to 800 km). They are especially effective for detecting low-altitude small-sized targets.
              AND COMBAT CONTROL of aviation (and ground air defense systems) with the issuance of target designation, navigational guidance or even guidance / correction of missiles launched by them.
              This can be done both in defensive warfare and in offensive operations.
              This (AWACS aircraft) is a means of combat control of war in the air.
              Any war.
              It's like a machine gun, rifle or knife - it can be used for defense as well as for attack.
              This is a TOOL.
              Any self-respecting country that has military aircraft should have such a tool.
              Otherwise - DEFEAT.
              Your aircraft just becomes blind, deaf and uncontrollable. In one word - disposable.
            2. daemon
              daemon 13 February 2021 18: 34
              0
              If you are so peaceful, let us gouge out 2 eyes. You yourself will not be the first to climb with fists, why do you need them at all))))) understand the analogy? No offense, nothing personal.
    3. RealPilot
      RealPilot 28 January 2021 17: 02
      0
      and providing the detection and identification of subsurface radio-contrast objects (bunker infrastructure, mine launchers of the enemy, etc.) located under a multi-meter size of soils of various types

      And, in my opinion, this is the main thing in the article. Boasting subsurface detection of radio contrast infrastructure is not given to everyone wink
      This paragraph is especially pleasing.

      Well, you need more of them, be sure good .

      Although the content of the article once again convinces me that we are not a third world country, not a gas station with nuclear missiles, but still a high-tech superpower, we are just sick a little, "in quarantine"!
      And the vaccine against false democracy is already there, now there is antibodies to thieves in power and sloppiness to develop ...
      Well, to reconsider the distribution of national property (I mean resources in the first place and key industries) in the 90s to achieve economic growth.
  2. Siberian 66
    Siberian 66 28 January 2021 05: 56
    +4
    It would be nice if the third world war was held in the form of a demonstration of cool photographs and posters from the performance characteristics of military equipment. Whoever has the coolest pictures and the more impressive numbers won. To appoint Damantsev as an arbitrator.
  3. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 28 January 2021 08: 33
    +2
    It was possible to make a strategic analogue based on il96 .... Due to its range, Tu214 is not a strategist.
    They wrote that the planes of the "Open Sky" program will replenish the scout fleet.
    1. AC130 Ganship
      AC130 Ganship 28 January 2021 18: 09
      0
      Why drive such a fool? Money must start counting. In the 70s-80s TR-1 flew from Germany and Sr71 from Mildenhall and saw the entire western border of the USSR and half of the north too.
      1. Zaurbek
        Zaurbek 28 January 2021 19: 16
        0
        Well, for example, intelligence along the US borders. ...
    2. ccsr
      ccsr 30 January 2021 15: 24
      -1
      Quote: Zaurbek
      It was possible to make a strategic analogue based on il96 .... Due to its range, Tu214 is not a strategist.

      The author of the article boldly states:
      In the Aerospace Forces of Russia, the tasks of strategic radar and optical-electronic reconnaissance / target designation with the proper level of efficiency can be performed exclusively by Tu-214R aircraft.

      Anyone interested in this reconnaissance aircraft will easily find information on VO:
      In January 2012, the Moscow military unit 45807 filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Tu-214R KAPO named after Gorbunov with a claim to compensation for a penalty in the amount of 1.24 billion rubles for yet another failure to meet all the deadlines for the received defense order for the construction of special purpose aircraft.

      https://topwar.ru/14558-rossiyskiy-samolet-specnaznacheniya-tu-214r.html
      From this text it follows that the Tu-214R has nothing to do with the Aerospace Forces and it is going to replace the Il-20M in the OSN brigades, which means it is intended for operational reconnaissance, and not for strategic.
      In general, the author's "people are mixed up in a bunch of horses" and he does not seem to give an account of how it all looks in the eyes of those who understand the differences between the conduct of aviation operational and strategic intelligence.
  4. Variant
    Variant 28 January 2021 08: 45
    +1
    involving ultra-low frequency ranges of the order of 120-400 MHz and pulse duration of 50-200 ns

    120MHz to 400MHz is ultra low range? Or was it necessary to indicate somewhere other dimension?
    1. Vadim Ananyin
      Vadim Ananyin 28 January 2021 18: 51
      +1
      120 Mhz-400 Mhz by nowadays, yes, you wanted 60-80?
    2. tikhonov66
      tikhonov66 29 January 2021 12: 49
      0
      "...
      120MHz to 400MHz is ultra low range?
      ..."
      - Yes, imagine ...
      Iba 150 MHz is the wavelength (and hence the MAXIMUM RESOLUTION) -
      1,5 (one and a half!) Meters.
      - and what are you planning to detect at this and LESS (!) resolution ?!
      The plane is only just and "with difficulty." A drone is useless.
      A tunnel with a transverse size of 2-3 meters is very HARMFUL ...
      - so 120-150MHz is a really ultra-low range for radar of INTERESTING tactical objects ..
      and this is MATCH!
  5. Daniil Konovalenko
    Daniil Konovalenko 28 January 2021 10: 31
    +4
    The whole point of the article was kept in one paragraph
  6. Undecim
    Undecim 28 January 2021 12: 30
    +4
    Another portion of information blizzard from Damantsev.
    Due to the presence in the electronic architecture of the E-8C high-energy X-band AFAR side-looking radars AN / APY-3, which have the highest level of noise immunity and the ability to operate in the synthetic aperture mode (SAR) with the formation of a radar image of photographic quality (with a resolution of about 1– 3 m), these machines provide the Air Force, Navy and ILC of the United States with comprehensive information about the location and actions of any surface (surface and ground) objects, including not only radio-emitting, but also any radio-contrast targets that are in radio silence
    For the information of the author, the AN / APY-3 radar has no AFAR, it has a passive phased antenna array - PFAR.
    But this radar is no longer used on Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS aircraft, moreover, for a long time.
    Instead, the AN / APY-7 radar is used. Here he really has AFAR.
  7. DWG1905
    DWG1905 28 January 2021 17: 45
    -1
    You can not read about Tu, the author is not at all in the subject, maybe it's good if the adversary does not sleep at night. I wonder why this article, so that someone would post secret information in the comments?
  8. AC130 Ganship
    AC130 Ganship 28 January 2021 18: 12
    +2
    Photo Rc135. An article about electronics E8. There are two proposals about Tu214R. Maybe change the title, because the conservatory is to blame?
  9. zwlad
    zwlad 28 January 2021 21: 57
    0
    What problems. We need to build more, if there is anything.
  10. Cossack 471
    Cossack 471 28 January 2021 23: 25
    0
    "Ultra-low frequency range 120 - 400 MHz" How to understand this? This is the microwave range.For example, the RPC SAM S-200 has a wavelength of 4-5 cm. that is, frequency = 300: 5 = 60 MHz and this is ultra high frequency
  11. sgapich
    sgapich 28 January 2021 23: 57
    0
    ... Crimean, Kaliningrad and Leningrad anti-aircraft zones A3 / AD...

    What is A2 / AD (Anti Access / Area Denial) is more or less clear, but what the author meant by the abbreviation A3 / AD is not clear.
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. Peaceful SEO
    Peaceful SEO 30 January 2021 00: 14
    0
    After the 2nd paragraph, I no longer doubted who the author of the article was :)))
  14. yehat2
    yehat2 1 February 2021 11: 20
    +1
    Quote: bayard
    But the fact that the RF Armed Forces still have special-purpose aircraft ... there are almost no - the trouble.

    it cannot be said that the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation does not deal with this issue, but they run into the fact that they stupidly do not have a single reliable and modern platform for equipment.
    Neither the Il-76, nor the Tu-214, nor other very small-scale or very old machines are suitable.
    New ones are needed, but they were not available until recently.
    Now, on the basis of the unfolding production of ssj, mc-21, long-suffering il-114 and some other developments, the issue of the presence of a platform in the next 5 years can be removed and analogs of the tu-214r will be stamped quite simply.
    But huge problems remain with the development of specialized equipment for other types.
    Now what is on the A-100 and on anti-submarine aircraft is absolutely not enough.
    There are also very big questions about the location and reconnaissance equipment of attack aircraft.
    Finally, it's time to think about the total replacement of the transport aviation fleet.
    replacing the fleet will lead to such volumes of fuel economy that it is easy to maintain a couple of divisions with this money.
  15. VLADIMIR VLADIVOSTOK
    VLADIMIR VLADIVOSTOK 6 February 2021 05: 12
    0
    All of their immunity is based on the words of American experts! Americans very often lie and guard an article on American lies, this is childish babble! Americans don't even understand some of the physical principles of Russian weapons! There are a lot of pieces of equipment, but mostly all old stuff! Their concept of warfare remained at the level of the war with Japan in the forties! Why are the Americans imposing sanctions on other countries? Because, militarily, no one considers the US anymore! Only banana republics can frighten! All their pile of scrap metal must still be delivered to the borders of another state! And it is easy to turn it into artificial reefs now! They are not going to check because there will be nothing to scare even the Papuans! It is not the consequences of a nuclear war that even the craziest generals in the world fear!