Table of contents:
- Basic information
- History of Prototypes
- Working with representatives of the Sukhoi Design Bureau
- First flights
- Other containers
- Khibiny squad
- Technical characteristics of the complex
- Jamming areas
- The main stages of creating the complex
- Modern modifications of the complex
- Which aircraft are used as carriers?
- Testing and use in conditions close to combat
- Kuk and Khibiny: true or false?
2023 Author: Henry Conors | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 12:05
Modern military equipment is unthinkable without the widest use of radio equipment. Radars, locators, means of targeting… All this is extremely important in the conditions of modern warfare. It is not surprising that domestic engineers have always tried to develop an effective means to suppress the radio equipment of a potential enemy. EW "Khibiny" became such.
A multifunctional complex designed for installation on aircraft equipment was developed at the Khibiny R&D in Kaluga. The talented engineer Alexander Semyonovich Yampolsky was appointed chief designer.
In the USSR, the first targeted research in the field of active jamming began back in 1977. Already in 1984, the work resulted in the creation of the first Khibiny electronic warfare systems, which were originally designed specifically for installation on Su-34 aircraft. In 1990, shortly before the collapse of the USSR, the first models were alreadypassed acceptance tests within the framework of a specially created state commission. Despite the collapse of the state and all the accompanying difficulties, the development of containers for the complex was completed by the mid-90s.
What is the electronic warfare "Khibiny" intended for? Its main role is to protect the aircraft from missile defense systems and air-to-air missiles that can be used by enemy pilots. The essence of its action is the suppression of homing systems of these weapons by setting active jamming.
Their trials were scheduled for the end of 1995. Significantly modified samples were subjected to state verification, in which many shortcomings of previous models were corrected. Despite this, certain shortcomings were identified this time as well. Therefore, the final round of tests started only at the end of August 1997. In the spring of 2004, the Khibiny electronic warfare was finally adopted by the Russian Air Force, becoming part of the weapons complex for the Su-34 aircraft.
In August 2013, an important contract was signed, according to which domestic enterprises will have to equip almost all Su-34 aircraft and other models that can technologically take on board such weapons with this equipment. The estimated amount of work is more than one and a half billion rubles. It is assumed that in the future the Khibiny electronic warfare system will be mounted on Su-30M fighters and similar aircraft.
History of Prototypes
The first prototypes includeda block responsible for accurately remembering the frequencies used (TSh model). Structurally, the upgraded blocks of digital circuits for delaying the "Answer" signal also belonged there. In this block, the latest components of the "hundredth" series were used. Since 1984, these Khibiny components have been developed in a separate research institute, since the amount of work turned out to be too large for one enterprise. During the work, the signal delay line was upgraded to the level of "Response-M".
Working with representatives of the Sukhoi Design Bureau
It should be noted that the first official sample, which fully complied with the terms of reference, simply did not fit in the aircraft compartments. In order to prevent such mistakes in the future, the designers began to work closely with the Sukhoi Design Bureau at the highest level. From now on, all work on the Khibiny was headed by V. V. Kryuchkov.
In 1990, the first "flying" model passes all stages of State acceptance, being officially recognized as suitable for installation on combat aircraft operated by the USSR Air Force. The second set was designed specifically for installation in the L-175V hinged container and was designed exclusively for installation on many models of fighters and attack aircraft of the Su family. As mentioned above, the first flight of an aircraft with this equipment on board took place in 1995.
So began the first phase of the final part of the acceptance test. Already in 1997, in Ramenskoye, the Su-34 with the L-175V container installed also successfully flew off and completed all the test tasks that were assigned tocomplex constructors.
It soon became clear that the difficult economic situation in the country did not allow to quickly deploy the production of new Su-34s in sufficient quantities, and with the L-175V containers themselves to accommodate the electronic warfare complex, everything is not so simple. At the same time, the development of a new version of the Khibiny began to protect an entire group of aircraft. It was assumed that this modification of the complex would be used to ensure the safety of groups of bombers and fighters flying in the cover echelon.
The design of many elements was extremely simplified, which made it possible to significantly reduce the cost of the entire complex. This time, the U1 and U2 containers were included in the electronic warfare. The peculiarity of this innovation was that their operating frequency completely coincided with that of the Khibiny. In fact, these were high-power transmitters that could be used not only to increase the power of the main complex, but even to issue target designations.
The second pair had containers of the Sh1 and Sh0 models. Here they had a radio frequency range that was sharply different from the main Khibiny complex. They use a completely different control logic from the parent, and therefore can be used to set up active jamming of a different, more effective type. Probably, after combining all the developments in this area, the Khibiny electronic warfare complex ML-265 was created.
In this modification there is the possibility of using the complex without anycontainers. So, in the Su-35, this equipment is built right into the design of the airframe. In the process of creating a new model, "Khibiny-60", applied mathematical modeling was widely used, which made it possible to predict with high accuracy the behavior of the complex in a variety of combat conditions, even extreme ones. By the way, the same approach was used a little earlier, in the process of creating the KS418 complex.
So, what does the Khibiny electronic warfare system include? Here is its basic equipment:
- The "heart" of the complex is the RER "Proran", or its more modern counterparts, most of the information on which is classified.
- The main system for installing active interference "Regatta". Most likely, more modern and advanced analogues are currently used. This equipment can be located both in a container and mounted directly in the airframe of the aircraft.
- As we said, the electronic warfare equipment of the Khibiny also includes equipment designed to set active jamming when protecting aircraft units. mounted in a container. Exact specifications unknown.
- A block designed to accurately memorize the frequency. Model TS.
- Finally, a high power computerized computing system is used, and its exact characteristics also remain a mystery.
As for the cost of this type of weapons, as of 2014, the price of one set was at least 123 million rubles.
Technical characteristics of the complex
Let's consider the main technical characteristics of a typical complex located inside the container. As a rule, in this role, the old, but well-proven L-175V / L-265 is used:
- length - 4.95 m;
- diameter - 35 cm;
- weight - 300 kg.
- The overlap sector is +/- 45 degrees in the front and rear hemispheres.
- Electronic reconnaissance equipment can function effectively at a frequency of 1, 2…40 GHz.
- The active jamming system itself operates at frequencies of 4…18 GHz.
- The operating frequency of the complex for covering flight connections is 1…4 GHz.
- Total power consumption is 3600W.
The main stages of creating the complex
- The first Proran prototype. At this stage, a complex of electronic intelligence was developed.
- Regatta. In this case, the engineers were already working directly on the creation of equipment that could be used to set active jamming.
- Finally, the Khibiny electronic warfare station itself was created, which was obtained by connecting Proran and Regatta.
- Development and production of the Khibiny-10V model. This is a special modification designed for installation on T-10V/Su-34 aircraft.
- Complex KS-418E. It was developed to equip export aircraft Su-24MK/Su-24MK2. Apparently, the final refinement of this model has not been completed as of today.
Modern modifications of the complex
- Modification "Khibiny-60".
- "Container" complex L-265/L-265M10. An exclusive variant currently used only on Su-35 aircraft.
- The most modified and perfect version, "Khibiny-U". It was first shown at the MAKS-2013 aviation salon. It is known that at the same time an agreement was signed on the installation of the complex on all domestic front-line aircraft. Then it became known that this electronics will be placed on the Su-30SM.
- The most perfect model, "Tarantula". Almost nothing is known about its development and application.
Which aircraft are used as carriers?
As you can see from the article, the main carrier aircraft of this type of equipment are the products of the Sukhoi Design Bureau. We have already discussed the reasons for this. So there is nothing surprising in the following list:
- The Su-34 can be equipped with an L-175V/L-175VE container, which can accommodate any suitable Khibiny electronic warfare station.
- Su-35 most often carries the "M" model placed in the L-265.
- Su-30SM is planned to be equipped exclusively with Khibiny-U.
Testing and use in conditions close to combat
We have already spoken about the first stages of state tests. When else was the Khibiny electronic warfare system used? It is reported that in 2000, some time after the attack of Chechen fighters on Afghanistan, the Air Force studied the possibility of using the Su-34 to cover the bombers. Su-24. Of course, the Khibiny installed on the Su-24 electronic warfare could significantly increase the survivability of these aircraft in combat conditions.
It is also known that in 2013 a contract was signed providing for the supply of at least 92 complexes to the troops. The amount of this agreement is about 12 billion rubles. Most likely, aircraft (it is not known which ones) should be equipped with this equipment no later than 2020.
In April 2014, tests were carried out close to combat. At the same time, the electronic warfare equipment of the Khibiny was sent to protect the Su-34. It was assumed that they would be intercepted by aircraft of a potential enemy, which were the MiG-31. The results of these tests have not yet been reported.
Kuk and Khibiny: true or false?
In April of the same year, one curious article appeared on many resources. Many sober-minded sources immediately placed it in the "Conjectures" section. What did it say about the electronic warfare "Khibiny"? "Donald Cook", which passed near Crimea on April 12, 2014, was allegedly "attacked" by the Su-24, and the equipment on board was "choked" with the help of this complex. However, soon articles with such content were quickly deleted, as it turned out the following:
- Yes, the Drying actually circled the ship.
- No hostile actions were taken by the parties.
- "Khibiny" is currently not put on the Su-24 (this is a moot point).
- Equipment of this class is simply not able to suppress the electronics of not the smallest warship.
So, we examined the Khibiny electronic warfare. What it is? In essence, this is an advanced electronic warfare system that allows combat aircraft to evade enemy missiles by shooting down their automatic guidance system.
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