Radio warfare (RW) is impact of radio-frequency radiation (radio interference) on the electronic equipment of opponent’s command systems, communication, reconnaissance and weapons. Therefore, affecting the most sensible units of weapons and military equipment of potential enemy the means of RW deprive him of the benefit of using the most advanced informational technologies. Gazeta.RU discussed the development trends of the domestic RW equipment with Yury Maevsky, Deputy General Director, R&D Radio warfare equipment and innovations.
— Some specialists declare that our RW systems remain far short of those of the western origin. To what extent is this true? Some even think that the modern equipment from the U.S. is something beyond our attainment. — It is absolutely untrue. There is a range of principal parameters where our systems are much more effective and advanced than those of the USA. The analysis of materials coming from various sources justifies such a conclusion. Sure, we are constantly tracing the trends and the main directions of the RW developments abroad, including in the USA. It should be noted that effectiveness of the RW equipment is assessed indirectly by the results of conflict with the radio-electronic machinery of the opponents. It means that we keep fighting with their command system, their weapons, and they – with ours.
If they possess a quite effective system of weapons control, we shall use even more effective means of radio warfare, in order to level down benefits of their most up-to-date systems in such a conflict. So, if we try to deal with AWACS (airborne warning and control system of air and ground (marine) targets. — ‘Gazeta.Ru’), then our RW system shall inherently be more effective than all others. — Can we blank out AWACS? — Sure, we can. We just have to develop and produce such equipment. I suppose, the Americans do exactly the same as of our radio warfare. — Apart from the U.S.A., who else is our competitor in the RW area? — The traditional competitors are Israel, France, Italy. Also, the competitors are the principal countries – members of NATO … — Well, any opponent always features weak and strong points. Where are we stronger and weaker on the RW side? — I would say that conceptually we are on the edge of the RW development or even outstrip the foreign countries. Experience shows that, as a rule, our ideas and concepts outstrip the modern world level of the RW equipment development. Alongside with that there are certain difficulties of implementation of our concepts and ideas. But such situation is not only in the RW area: this is the issue of availability or lack of certain technologies in the Russian Federation. In this line is import substitution of a number of component elements of electronic base.
Recently we have been strenuously working over our own electronic component base, and this program is being implemented quite well. — Well, maybe such transition from borrowing a foreign base to creation of our own one increases reliability of the equipment and its resistance against impacts of potential enemies. — In this sense no abrupt transition took place and could not have been taken. Despite the fact that we used certain imported elements before, their share was insignificant. We have always meant that our military equipment should be operational in all situations including conflicts. And if we developed our means with bigger share of imported components, this would inevitably lead to dependence of their production from supplies and sensibility to potential external effects. This is why there was no and should have not been abrupt transitions. — Without disclosing whatever secrets can you give an example of a successful technology when we, say, reacted off-standard to the existing challenges, and outstrip the competitors? — As an example of the unparalleled RW equipment I may note the ‘Rychag-AV’ product for group defense of aircrafts. Non-traditional solutions have also been applied on the ‘President-S’ system featuring very good parameters. There is a series of unparalleled jamming stations of ‘Krasukha’ type, and we may give many more examples. I should also draw your attention to the fact that by force of circumstances we have to develop the equipment, as a rule, within restricted resources, but the experience and talent of our developers enable to find original technical solutions and due to this create highly efficient RW equipment.
This is demonstrated by the experience of the latest developments. Our opponents enjoy absolutely different conditions, their resources are ample. Maybe this is the reason why they solve their tasks somewhat otherwise, without the difficulties we encounter with. — There are statements from the American militaries that they are not afraid of our air defense systems because allegedly they can block out all the electronic equipment using their means of RW. — It is hard to believe but we are not afraid of their air defense systems because we can block them out with interference. It should be remembered that their ‘optimism’ can be based only on the experience of blocking out the Soviet air defense systems in the Third World countries (developed mainly in 1970s). I am not sure they would retain their optimism if encountered in a real fight with the modern (newly developed and recently upgraded) air defense systems of Russia, and, moreover, with our combat units, too.
I should note that their ‘Partiot’, with due knowledge of its noise-proof features, is far not an ideal product, and we also possess efficient RW facilities to fight them. If they are not afraid of us, we are not afraid of their ‘Patriot’, either. — Did our RW developers account for, say, the experience of the American campaign in Iraq? — Sure, they did.
Any experience of the RW use in armed conflicts is considered as data obtained by an experiment. So, all the contemporary conflicts are mandatorily analyzed from the point of using electronic means, functioning algorithms and general efficiency. All conflicts are carefully scrutinized by the developers. The combined experience is accounted for in upgrades and at establishing new solutions. I think that any other counterpart does the same.
Basically, there are two types of contemporary conflicts we consider: ‘Yugoslavian’ when not a step is made on the territory of a country, and ‘Iraqi’ when classical intrusion took place: first, air control, and then ground campaign. We analyze all this to make our equipment resistant to conflicts. Therefore, the RW functioning algorithms we develop should allow the RW means to remain efficient for at least 10-15 years. — What urgent processes are there in the area of refit and re-equipment of our Military Institutions with the modern RW solutions? — There is the well-known edict of the President of the Russian Federation stating that by 2020 the Military Institutions of Russia shall be re-equipped and have at least 70% of the upgraded machinery. We keep successfully solving this task in the area of radio warfare, and by a number of items the above edict has already been fulfilled. — Is it possible to compare the RW parameters of the aircrafts IL-22pp ‘Porubschik’ and EA-18 ‘Growler’? If yes, what are the parameters our aircraft supersedes and cedes the American one? — In its segment ‘Porubschik’ is the efficient means solving tasks with no less quality as Growler does, and by a number of parameters it is even better.
The choice of carriers for the RW systems (IL-22 and F-18А) shows that this RW equipment cannot be directly compared. The tactics of their use is also different. — What behavior do our RW systems demonstrate in Syria? — In Syria the Russian aviation forces are reliably defended with our radio warfare systems. The pilots feel confident and provide high combat effectiveness of using the aircrafts and weapons. The helicopters are defended with ‘Vitebsk’ complex. Also, certain means of the ground RW fleet was used there. They also demonstrated high effectiveness in solving the tasks. It is fair to state that at the current stage we achieved quite good results even at restricted scale of combat use of the RW equipment. We are not going to stop at this point, though, and account for the information we obtained in this conflict; we use it in upgrade of the machinery, new developments, for any use of equipment in an armed conflict is another impetus for development. First of all, this is striving for multiple functionality of the RW means, increase of its reliability due to standardization and unification of structural implementation based on well-tested technologies and new technical solutions, increase of intellectuality, protection against hidden impacts, etc.