Military Review

Radar "Sunflower" to protect borders and economic interests


The tasks of timely detection of surface and air targets, incl. which are a threat to the country's maritime borders, in our army they are solved with the help of several types of radar systems. One of the newest and most advanced models of this class is the Sunflower over-the-horizon radar. Several such facilities have already been deployed along the perimeter of the state. Construction of new stations is expected for their needs and for export.

New technologies

Work on the future "Podslonukh" began in the nineties, when the need arose to develop a new class of radar. By that time, the Russian armed forces had an entire network of coastal stations, which, however, did not meet all the requirements. Short-range systems made it possible to observe territorial waters, and the minimum viewing range of over-the-horizon radars is hundreds of kilometers. Thus, the exclusive economic zone was left without radar cover.

By 1999, the Scientific Research Institute of Long-Range Radio Communication (NPK "NIIDAR") completed part of the research and design work, after which it built a so-called so-called "NIIDAR" near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Radar surface wave "Taurus". It was a mock-up with limited capabilities, but it showed all the possibilities and advantages of new technologies.

The Taurus product reportedly caught the attention of an unnamed foreign customer, resulting in an order for the production and deployment of such a radar. In addition, the developments of the project were used to create a new station "Sunflower". This time it was about a full-fledged over-the-horizon radar with all the necessary capabilities.

By the middle of the 2005s, a prototype "Sunflower" was deployed in Kamchatka. In 2006-2008. passed state tests, after which the station was put on experimental combat duty. Already in 2009-2013. the second radar station, built near the city of Vladivostok, began to work. In XNUMX, the coastal troops of the Caspian flotilla.

The strategic northern direction received special attention in the context of radar. In 2017, it was planned to complete the construction and put on alert the first "Sunflower" in the Arctic, it was erected on Novaya Zemlya. It was reported that in the foreseeable future, five more such objects will appear in the region, and this will create a continuous radar field over almost all the northern borders of the country.

The existing complexes "Sunflower" are constantly on duty and are regularly involved in providing various events. So, with their help, control over the conduct of exercises of the fleet and combat aviation... Also, radar calculations track the activity of third countries trying to follow Russian maneuvers.

Export product

On the basis of the Podsolnukh radar, an export modification Podsolnukh-E was created for the Russian armed forces. For the first time, materials on this project were presented in 2007 - almost immediately after the first own station took over the duty. Subsequently, the export radar was repeatedly advertised at various exhibitions and salons. In addition, the project was developed. Since 2015, customers have been offered the upgraded Podsolnukh-E with improved performance.

The export radar is expected to be delivered to the first foreign customer in the near future. Back in 2016, NPK NIIDAR with its Podsolnukh-E won the tender of an unnamed foreign state. A contract is reportedly expected to be signed at the moment, followed by the manufacture and handover of finished products.

New orders expected. Several factors will contribute to their receipt. First of all, this is the minimum number of direct competitors in the form of foreign developments with a similar level of performance. In addition, "Podsolnukh-E" shows higher tactical and technical characteristics. The developers also mention that in the 2016 tender, one of the arguments in favor of their product was the possibility of deploying all components in one position and without being separated by tens or hundreds of kilometers.

Technical features

Radar "Sunflower" in basic and export modifications is made as a set of tools for different purposes. The station consists of two posts, transmitting and receiving. They include several containers with radio equipment, a number of masts with antenna-feeder devices, as well as various auxiliary systems and devices.

It is proposed to place transmitting and receiving posts on the sea coast at a distance of 500 m to 3,5 km from each other. With the help of standard means of communication, the radar is integrated into the general circuits of data transmission and command and control.

"Sunflower" operates in the decimeter range and is a so-called. Surface wave radar. The station generates and emits HF waves of vertical polarization and directs them along the sea surface. Due to the phenomenon of diffraction, waves propagate beyond the horizon. Accordingly, the theoretically possible detection range increases.

The radar includes a high-performance computing complex capable of simultaneously tracking up to 200 surface and 100 air targets. The system ties traces and stores all data about the target, from entering the detection area to exiting it. Information about the situation is transmitted to the command post.

The exact characteristics of the radar for the Russian fleet have not been disclosed, but the parameters of the export modification have been published. "Podsolnukh-E" of the modernized version is capable of observing a sector with a width of 100-200 degrees at ranges from 15 to 450 km, depending on the parameters of the target.

The detection range of large surface targets with a displacement of more than 5 thousand tons reaches 300 km. The maximum range for air targets is 450 km, provided that the aircraft is at an altitude of more than 9000 m. It is argued that targets made with the use of stealth technologies are successfully detected in the entire range of ranges.

Layered protection

Radar "Podsolnukh" in Russian and export versions are designed to track air and surface conditions in an area with a radius of hundreds of kilometers. This is enough to control the exclusive economic zone and some area outside of it. At a greater range, observation tasks are transferred to other radar stations. The combined use of several types of radar allows an almost continuous radar field from the coast to the ocean zone.

With the help of "Sunflowers", the situation is now being monitored off the coast of Kamchatka and Primorye, as well as in the Caspian Sea and around Novaya Zemlya. In addition, it is known about plans to build several new similar stations. So far, we are talking only about the Arctic, but the possibility of their appearance in other directions cannot be ruled out. It should be borne in mind that modern "Sunflowers" are not the only means of protecting the country's sea borders.

Thus, along the perimeter of the Russian borders, incl. sea, a multicomponent layered radar surveillance system for the surrounding regions is gradually being formed. It ensures the timely detection of a missile or air attack, and in some areas is also responsible for protecting economic interests. Apparently, in the future, the areas of responsibility and the potential of such a system will continue to grow - both due to the "Sunflower", and with the help of other modern developments.
Photos used:
NPK "NIIDAR", "Rosoboronexport"
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  1. Anachoret
    Anachoret 29 June 2021 18: 09
    Long and reliable service)
    so that the enemy fly does not even fly)
  2. Undecim
    Undecim 29 June 2021 18: 57
    "Sunflower" operates in the decimeter range

    It would be better if the author, instead of exercises in pouring from empty to empty, rewrote the material carefully.
    Over-the-horizon radars such as Sunflower operate in decameter range.
    1. Ross xnumx
      Ross xnumx 29 June 2021 19: 59
      Quote: Undecim
      Over-the-horizon radars such as Podsolnukh operate in the decameter range.

      yes Everything is correct, and the error is here:
      Sunflower works in decimeter range and represents the so-called. Surface wave radar.

      Terrestrial or surface - radio wavespropagating along the spherical surface of the Earth and partially enveloping it due to the phenomenon of diffraction. The ability of a wave to bend around obstacles and diffract around them is known to be determined by the relationship between the wavelength and the dimensions of the obstacles: the shorter the wavelength, the weaker the diffraction is.
      1. Aviator_
        Aviator_ 29 June 2021 20: 35
        Quite right, in one place it is spelled correctly
        The station forms and emits HF waves vertical polarization
        , and in another suddenly the decimeter range. Well, the person of diffraction does not know why he needs it.
        1. Zhan
          Zhan 1 July 2021 11: 57
          soldier Well, the author of the article read your comments and got into the reference books of radio frequency ranges .. laughing Push is engaged in self-education, a useful thing .. smile
    2. bk316
      bk316 29 June 2021 21: 05
      Come on find fault, only 100 times error laughing
      There was a case on the VO the speed of light was overestimated 1000 times (meters with kilometers were confused) ...
  3. knn54
    knn54 29 June 2021 19: 08
    Obviously better than the Franco-Israeli radar station "Stradivarius".
    1. Zhan
      Zhan 1 July 2021 12: 03
      Quote: knn54
      Obviously better than the Franco-Israeli radar station "Stradivarius".

      They have nothing special to cover. For Israel one will be enough, and for France 4-5 of them. I mean to close the maritime borders.
  4. markant1970
    markant1970 29 June 2021 20: 17
    The Iskrovtsy also released a number of new radars. Passed state tests solid-state digital 3D radar "Phoenix" medium-range
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 29 June 2021 21: 06
      digital 3D radar "Phoenix" of medium range
      Hmm, this is something newfangled - in 3D, but what about virtual reality and augmented glasses from the operator ??? wink In the 3s, they already did digital processing for weather radar on "big chips" from: "Altera", the first NEs from TI, so, there, too, atmospheric phenomena were reflected in the volume, in tenths of a millimeter, and this was in the range of XNUMX cm! !!
    2. sivuch
      sivuch 1 July 2021 14: 31
      And what does this radar have to do with the topic of the article? There are many who produce radars, good and different.
  5. MrFox
    MrFox 29 June 2021 21: 46

    The article says that the detection range at a target altitude of 9000m is 450km. The calculated horizon for this height is 390 km, thus the gain in "over-the-horizon" in comparison with a conventional radar is 60 km.

    Is it a lot or a little? The B2 bomber covers this distance in 4 minutes. Not so much
    1. bayard
      bayard 30 June 2021 00: 54
      Quote: MrFox

      The article says that the detection range at a target altitude of 9000m is 450km. The calculated horizon for this height is 390 km, thus the gain in "over-the-horizon" in comparison with a conventional radar is 60 km.

      Here the main gain is in the detection of small and medium-altitude targets, as well as surface targets (ships).
      But also for detecting the same B-2 at a distance of even 390 km. conventional radar ... you have to try. Here, unless the meter range will help, and even then the range will be slightly less than for a normal target. And for the decameter range, stealth technologies do not matter, so he will detect it (B-2) at those same 450 km.
      And the meter-long radar, God bless him, is about 300 km away.
      And this is a completely different relationship.
      But 300 km. may turn out to be quite optimistic for a conventional meter radar (55Zh6, 5N84A), and in reality, detection can take place at 250 km.
      But the main value is still in the detection of low-altitude and inconspicuous targets - CD, aircraft, as well as ships. Having detected a missile launcher at a distance of 200 - 300 km, there is time to raise fighters to intercept and guide them (air defense systems in this situation will be ineffective).
      1. KVIRTU
        KVIRTU 30 June 2021 13: 33
        Oh, yes, you have not seen the new Defense, 5N84A nee. The transmitter trailer is gone. All in one. There are now two transmitters, 100% redundancy, digital processing. AU in general is the same.
        1. bayard
          bayard 30 June 2021 16: 31
          It is pleasant to hear that the old woman is alive, reliable equipment, the duty forces were mainly kept on them. And I first saw the first 5N84A with digital processing in 1988 on Saarema Island (Gulf of Finland) as part of the RLU of the radio engineering battalion.
          ... Tallinn Brigade. I did an internship there. A few months after the flight of Rust.
          1. KVIRTU
            KVIRTU 1 July 2021 17: 50
            And now they are holding :) P-18 is also completely different. The interrogator is in the control room, his PAA antenna is back-to-back on the main one, for example. The hills are being sent to the troops, these are already in combat mode. The castes are new. Foundations, ACS, all units are armed. Plus the command post of battalions with stationary automated control systems. It's a sin to complain :) But there are not enough specialists.
            1. bayard
              bayard 1 July 2021 18: 14
              Quote: KVIRTU
              But there are not enough specialists.

              Are they even being prepared for RTV? Previously there were KVIRTU, VVKURE (later SPVKURE), Krasnoyarsk ... But they have been gone for a long time.
              What now ? Faculty in one not quite profile university?
              But the fact that the equipment went to the troops is good.
              1. KVIRTU
                KVIRTU 1 July 2021 22: 12
                In Yaroslavl. They produce very little.
                As you understand, I graduated from KVIRTU, which was closed at 99, like Krasnoyarsk. On retirement, I work in my specialty in a structure adjacent to the RTV, the EU ATC.
                1. bayard
                  bayard 1 July 2021 23: 10
                  Quote: KVIRTU
                  In Yaroslavl. They produce very little.

                  I heard only one faculty there, and the set is small.
                  Are they saving?
                  Or do they consider it unimportant?
                  In RTV already motorists and officers from coastal artillery began to be transferred.
                  How much use is technology without trained engineers and combat control officers?
                  But this is me about the sad.
                  1. KVIRTU
                    KVIRTU 1 July 2021 23: 52
                    Is there a lot of sense from technology without trained engineers and combat control officers?
                    In the Main Directorate of Air Defense Personnel, of course, they are not fools, they can calculate and predict how many lieutenants are needed for 5 years in advance. Not everyone reaches the troops. The generals have children, other structures, such as the FSB and the National Guard, are luring in. In the battalions, the staff of the ODKP is always full, they leave the equipment, from material responsibility, for which they do not pay extra.
    2. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 30 June 2021 03: 39
      Quote: MrFox
      The calculated horizon for this height is 390 km, thus the gain in "over-the-horizon" in comparison with a conventional radar is 60 km.

      In addition to the radio horizon, there is also the technical range of a specific locator.
  6. SovAr238A
    SovAr238A 29 June 2021 23: 38
    The foreign customer is China.
    Checking the performance on the already operating radar, the Chinese personally attended the checkpoint and controlled everything.
    The targets were for the Russian military incognito.
    The Chinese simply secretly sent their ships to the Russian military to determine the actual detection range.
    Several times a Chinese destroyer was spotted at a range of 210-220km.
    I don't remember the exact figure.
    But no further than 220 that's for sure.

    That's all there is to know about this system.
    And everything else. - empty water overflow.
    1. bayard
      bayard 30 June 2021 16: 34
      There was information that in early versions the "Sunflower" was delivered to Iran and even Egypt. there were even photographs of their antenna fields.
  7. Brylevsky
    Brylevsky 30 June 2021 02: 34
    Already in 2008-2009. the second radar station, built near the city of Vladivostok, began to work.

    This is not the only over-the-horizon radar station in the Primorsky Territory. Much earlier than in 2009, in the Rifovaya Bay, near Livadia, the Volna ZGRLS appeared, with much more impressive technical characteristics. Here is a link with comprehensive information on this matter:, as well as a few photos:

    I will also add, on my own behalf, that the beach in Rifovaya Bay is simply amazing! A sea of ​​clean, coarse sand and clear water! The photo was taken a few days ago:
  8. nznz
    nznz 1 July 2021 09: 49
    A new land, as it pleases the ear. Good luck to the guys. I know what to build. Rocks, basalt, moss are only 5-10 cm from above, and even permafrost, snow does not melt from the hills even in summer, and this is on the southern island of the archipelago, and what is beyond the Matshar Strait is generally ice and a stone. How will the masts stand there? we had only 70m .. and the diameter of the pipe was such that it was possible to climb the ladders, in steps of 10m, it swayed well .. + 4.5 m there was a turnstile-type antenna like a pommel (butterfly) - when the cables were changed, they sat on belts and soldering irons (clumsy look) were heated inside from the 12th century. cooled in the wind in October in 15 seconds, smeared the solder.
  9. yfast
    yfast 1 July 2021 14: 04
    It turns out that a cruise missile flying from afar to these antennas will not be detected.
    1. sivuch
      sivuch 1 July 2021 14: 57
      How does this happen? Here: Russia will be covered with a solid anti-missile radar field
      write the following - and over-the-horizon stations "Sunflower" and the newest "Containers" will provide protection against aircraft and cruise missiles.