The development of optical-electronic systems for the modernization of MANPADS began.
16 August edition of Izvestia reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Radioelectronic Technologies Concern (KRET) are working together to create a promising target detection system, which is proposed to be used to manage calculations of man-portable air defense systems. The first task of the current project is to refine existing products for use with MANPADS. In the future, it is planned to carry out a new improvement of such systems, according to the results of which they will be able to work with existing and prospective anti-tank systems.
An unnamed source of "Izvestia" in the military department said that at present the industry and the customer are studying the possibility of using a promising optical-electronic system in conjunction with launchers of portable anti-aircraft systems. In the near future it is planned to complete the work in the framework of the first phase of the project. Also, the source noted that the successful completion of work on the ECO for MANPADS will allow to start developing similar systems for anti-tank missile systems and even for hand-held rocket launchers
It is reported that the new opto-electronic systems will be part of the updated anti-aircraft systems. The basis of the latter will have to be special launchers with remote control. They will be mounted MANPADS with a set of necessary equipment, as well as the necessary ECO devices. Such complexes can be placed in the right area at the most convenient positions. Calculations of anti-aircraft systems will be at a safe distance from launchers.
With the help of optical-electronic systems, the gunners of MANPADS will be able to monitor the air situation and search for targets. When an air target is detected or third-party target designation is received, the calculations will have to take the object for tracking and, after its entry into the affected area, launch the rocket. It is understood that placing the gunner and the launcher in different positions will reduce the risks to people. In addition, such an architecture of the anti-aircraft complex will, to a certain extent, simplify masking and will provide some other advantages over MANPADS in their original form.
An unnamed source at KRET revealed to the Izvestia publication some technical details of a promising project. The result of the work should be the appearance of a small-sized and lightweight product, made in the form of a single unit with all the necessary equipment. This unit should be equipped with television and thermal imaging cameras, as well as a laser rangefinder, means of transmitting the signal and receiving commands. The operator will have a control panel with a screen for outputting the video signal and other necessary devices.
It is reported that a promising complex, designed for use with existing weapons, is being developed on the basis of the Okhotnik video processing system (SOVI). Within the framework of the “Hunter” project, a whole family of optical-electronic systems was developed, designed for use as part of various systems and on different equipment. In the basic configuration, the Hunter products are equipped with observation tools and a computing unit. The latter allows you to process the video signal, as well as solve some problems, reducing the burden on the operator.
According to reports, the hunter system is capable of automatically detecting from one to eight moving targets. There is an automatic tracking function with adaptation of the tracking gate in accordance with the distance to the target and its dimensions. An independent determination of the possibility of taking a target for automatic tracking is provided. At the same time, the auto tracking is maintained even with sufficiently energetic maneuvers of the target, high speed, changing its angle, etc.
It is known that one of the systems of the Hunter family is already used in the onboard equipment of the advanced T-50 fighter. In addition, the possibility of using such equipment on another equipment being upgraded and being created anew is being considered. Finally, in the course of the ongoing work, the Ministry of Defense and the Radio Electronic Technologies concern intend to adapt the existing WWII for use in conjunction with man-portable air defense systems.
According to some data, the Hunter systems are capable of identifying detected targets and determining their type. By characteristic features such as speed, altitude, thermal radiation, etc., video processing systems can “recognize” an airplane, a helicopter, or an unmanned aerial vehicle. A source of "Izvestia" in the Ministry of Defense noted that in order to adapt existing systems for use in ground-based anti-aircraft complexes, they had to resort to some of their modifications.
The same source noted that the optoelectronic equipment of a new type should actually replace the MANPAD operator. In existing systems, the detection and identification of targets is assigned to the operator. In the future, these functions are proposed to transfer to automatic tools. Among other things, it improves the effectiveness of the attack. Due to the high speeds of the air targets, the operator does not have a significant time reserve for identifying the detected object, searching for the optimal rocket launch time, etc. Due to its speed automatics should solve this problem, increasing the overall efficiency of the missile systems.
Another plus of the developed complex for the modernization of MANPADS is the possibility of deploying anti-aircraft guns and their control systems at some distance from each other. The experience of recent local conflicts shows that the operators of portable anti-aircraft systems can pose a great danger to aviation tactical link, which is why such threats have a high priority and are important goals that must be destroyed most quickly. In the case of using remote control systems, MANPADS operators are able to stay at a safe distance from their weapons. This means that if the launcher is destroyed, the operator will not suffer. In this case, before the destruction of its weapons, the anti-aircraft gunner will be able to fight air targets with greater efficiency compared to MANPADS in the original version.
In the near future, KRET and the Ministry of Defense are planning to complete the first stage of work on the creation of a promising anti-aircraft complex with new control systems. After that, the development of the project will continue, which in the future will lead to the emergence of ready-made systems suitable for use in testing. The deadlines for the completion of these works and the possible adoption of new complexes for service have not yet been specified. Probably, we can talk about the next few years.
At the same time, the industry and the customer decided on plans for the further development of the new project. After the new version of the portable anti-aircraft missile systems it is planned to develop a similar version of anti-tank systems. With the help of equipment based on the Hunter's CIGI, it is proposed to upgrade existing and prospective anti-tank missile systems. Due to the corresponding changes in the software and recognition algorithms, the updated systems will be able to find, maintain and identify ground targets of various classes and types. Their task will be to work in the interests of anti-tank systems, which will be responsible for the destruction of detected objects.
Also in recent reports mentioned the possibility of using promising eco-friendly systems in combination with hand-held grenade launchers. Apparently, in this case, a special launcher with optoelectronic systems will also be created for searching for targets and targeting, as well as with mounts for armament of the required type. Perhaps this variant of the anti-tank complex is considered as a simplified and cheaper alternative to full-fledged systems using relatively expensive and complex guided missiles.
According to the latest data, the defense industry, on the request of the Ministry of Defense, is developing tools that convert man-portable air defense systems into remote-controlled complexes. Such equipment will have a number of significant advantages over existing MANPADS, which will have a positive impact on the capabilities of short-range air defense. In addition, in the future it will allow to modernize anti-tank defenses. It will take at least several years to complete all the necessary work. After that, the armed forces will have the opportunity to begin the operation of improved means of dealing with enemy aircraft and armored vehicles.
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