JED - April 2016 - 36

t h r e a t

The Journal of Electronic Defense | April 2016


m o n i t o r

eral Igor Konashenkov described them as "super-maneuverable fighters."
Tikhmirov NIIP's Irbis-E multifunction phased-array
system installed on the Su-35 is a derivative of the earlier N011M Bars. Its phased-array antenna can electronically scan a 60-degree sector in both azimuth and elevation,
and is mounted on a hydraulic actuator able to move the
antenna in order to provide a total of 120 degrees in azimuth coverage. Up to 30 targets can be tracked simultaneously, and attacks can be simultaneously conducted with
two semi-active, radar-guided air-to-air missiles, or up to
eight active-radar missiles. A maximum range of up to 400
km is claimed against a target with a radar cross-section of
3 square meters.
This nose-mounted radar is supplemented by an OLS-35
infrared search and track (IRST) sensor that incorporates a
thermal imager, TV camera and a laser ranger/designator.
Developed by KRET, the aircraft's SAP 518 EW system
consists of two pods, each mounted on a wingtip. One pod
contains the receiver subsystem, while the other houses
the jamming transmitter. Frequency coverage is 2-18 GHz,
and according to KRET, a DRFM module receives external
signals, converts and records them in digital form, and responds in less than 10 nanoseconds. Missile-approach and
laser warning systems are also carried, along with dispensers for chaff and flares.
By late December, Beriev A-50 "Mainstay" airborne early
warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft were operating over
Syria in support of Russian air operations. Another arrival
in the skies over Syria was the new Tupolev Tu-214R electronic intelligence aircraft. First shown publicly at the 2013
MAKS Air Show, this is a special-mission version of the Tu214 airliner. Intended to replace the veteran Il-20 Coot, it
carries a system designated MRK-411 that is understood
to combine side-looking synthetic aperture radar (SAR),
electronic intelligence (ELINT) and communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors. The single aircraft sent to Syria
may have been one of two examples reported to be still
under flight test in January 2015.
Russia perceived a potential threat from MANPADS systems in the hands of armed opposition groups. In January the Russian RT television channel broadcast a video

Russian EW manufacturer KRET claims that its wing-mounted SAP 518
jamming pods can protect a fighter from radar-guided missiles. (KRET)

Positioned near S-400 launchers, this Pantsir-S1 has its twin 30-mm
cannons and one set of 57E6 missile tubes raised.
(Russian Ministry of Defence)

sequence showing a Russian Mi-8AMTSh transport/attack
helicopter fitted with three small directed infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) turrets - one at the tip of each fuselage-mounted weapon pylon, and a third located under the
tail boom. This equipment fit seems to be a version of the
L370 Vitebsk system, which is offered for export under the
designation President-S.
Another Hmeimim-based aircraft thought to be fitted
with the L370 Vitebsk is the Kamov Ka-52 Alligator (HokumB) attack helicopters whose deployment to Syria was reported in January and later confirmed. This was the aircraft's
first combat deployment, and may have been intended to
boost Russia's local capability to perform combat searchand-rescue operations. Deployment of the new Mil Mi-28N
Night Hunter version of Russia's best-known attack helicopter has also been observed.
Possible confirmation that the MANPADS threat was real
came on March 13, when the Russian Ministry of Defence
announced that a Syrian Air Force MiG-21 "Fishbed" had
been shot down by a MANPADS on the previous day. The
Syrian opposition group Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam)
claimed responsibility for the attack, and released a video
showing a small explosion taking place immediately behind
the MiG. The aircraft is seen to fly on following the explosion, which presumably inflicted enough damage to cause
the aircraft eventually to crash.
The Russian deployment to Syria had begun on September 30, 2015, following a Syrian Government request
for military help in its campaign against rebel and jihadist
groups. On March 14, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the mission of the Russian deployment
had been accomplished, and that withdrawal of what he
described as "most of our military group" of Russian forces
from Syria. However, operations at the base and at the naval base in Tartus would continue in what he described as
"routine mode," and Russian personnel would be involved in
monitoring the ceasefire.
There have been no reports of the S-400 system being
returned to Russia. While Israel seems to have accepted the
system's recent presence in Syria as being a Russian-crewed
asset, it would be deeply concerned if the weapon were to
be handed over to the Syrian armed forces. a


JED - April 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2016

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
DARPA Profile: Advanced Materials
Mission Profile: Non-Kinetic Thinking Creates New Possibilities for Air and Missile Defense
Threat Monitor
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - April 2016 - cover1
JED - April 2016 - cover2
JED - April 2016 - 3
JED - April 2016 - 4
JED - April 2016 - 5
JED - April 2016 - The View From Here
JED - April 2016 - 7
JED - April 2016 - Conferences Calendar
JED - April 2016 - 9
JED - April 2016 - Courses Calendar
JED - April 2016 - 11
JED - April 2016 - From the President
JED - April 2016 - 13
JED - April 2016 - 14
JED - April 2016 - The Monitor
JED - April 2016 - 16
JED - April 2016 - 17
JED - April 2016 - 18
JED - April 2016 - 19
JED - April 2016 - 20
JED - April 2016 - 21
JED - April 2016 - 22
JED - April 2016 - World Report
JED - April 2016 - DARPA Profile: Advanced Materials
JED - April 2016 - 25
JED - April 2016 - 26
JED - April 2016 - 27
JED - April 2016 - Mission Profile: Non-Kinetic Thinking Creates New Possibilities for Air and Missile Defense
JED - April 2016 - 29
JED - April 2016 - 30
JED - April 2016 - 31
JED - April 2016 - 32
JED - April 2016 - 33
JED - April 2016 - 34
JED - April 2016 - Threat Monitor
JED - April 2016 - 36
JED - April 2016 - EW 101
JED - April 2016 - 38
JED - April 2016 - AOC News
JED - April 2016 - 40
JED - April 2016 - Index of Advertisers
JED - April 2016 - JED Quick Look
JED - April 2016 - cover3
JED - April 2016 - cover4