This was published in November prior to Iran's acquisition of our RQ-170. ~Patriot
Iran says it is developing its own missile defense system after Russia last year blocked delivery of the formidable S-300PMU system, which had been purchased in 2007. Israeli defense expert Uzi Rubin, architect of the Jewish state's evolving multilayer missile defense program, says Tehran may be getting help from North Korean weapons engineers.
Iranian news agencies quoted defense officials as saying the Iranian Bavar 373 system is a substitute for the five S-300 batteries Moscow refused to deliver. The Iranians claim their system is more advanced than the Russian S-300, which was developed by NPO Almaz of Moscow.
"The designing phase of the Bavar 373 missile system “¦ is to be completed soon," said Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which oversees missile development projects in Iran.
"We don't think about the S-300," he added. "This domestically built system has more advanced capabilities than the S-300."
"Intuitively, it's difficult to imagine that the Iranian system is as good as the S-300," Rubin told The Jerusalem Post. "Making the missile is the simple part. The problem is creating complex radars and other components.
"The effectiveness of the system depends on the radars. The Iranians have some skills in this but years of experience are needed. It's difficult to believe that this can be done in one generation."
However, Rubin observed, "there are indications they're not working alone."
He said North Korean engineers may be helping the Iranians, as they have frequently over the years. The Iranians, he noted, "may be on the way to reaching these capabilities."
Technology for North Korea's Taepodong series of ballistic missiles is widely considered to have been used in Iranian projects.
On May 13, a U.N. panel of experts submitted an 81-page report to the Security Council saying that Pyongyang, ever in need of funds, persistently exported, or attempted to export, ballistic missiles, missile components and the relevant technologies to Iran in recent years despite U.N. bans.
Russians, a key arms supplier to Iran in recent years, dragged its feet on the S-300s for more than a year before deciding that delivering the missiles was banned under the fourth round of U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran in June 2010 for refusing to abandon its purported nuclear arms program.
The new sanctions regime gave Moscow the cover to renege on the $800 million deal in September.
But the decision to withhold the S-300s was largely political and part of its effort to improve relations with the West to help modernize strategic economic sectors.
The S-300 issue became a secret test for U.S. diplomacy at the highest levels and provided an opening for some strategic horse-trading.
By several accounts, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to sell the Russians 36 surveillance drones — a field in which Russia is technologically deficient — in a $100 million deal as part payment for scrapping the S-300 sale to Iran.
The United States and Israel had been particularly vehement in seeking to persuade Moscow to play ball because if Tehran acquired the S-300s its air-defense system would be dramatically strengthened to counter threatened pre-emptive Israeli airstrikes aimed at knocking out Iran's nuclear facilities.
The S-300 is considered one of the most advanced air-defense systems, ranking alongside the U.S. all-altitude Patriot system.
The S-300 can engage multiple targets, missiles as well as aircraft, at ranges of more than 100 miles at low and high altitudes.
Iran's air-defense system has nothing remotely as effective as the S-300.
The Russians are phasing it out with its own forces for the more advanced S-400. They're believed to be ahead of schedule in developing the S-500 system, which could be ready for production by the end of 2012.
In recent months, the Iranians have announced they're producing a range of indigenously developed weapons systems, including the Ghader anti-ship cruise missile.
There seems to be no shortage of new weapons programs, heightening Western skepticism about Tehran's endless claims.
While it's clear Iran has succeeded in making substantial technological advances, it's more likely to be focusing primarily on producing intermediate-range ballistic missiles like the Shehab-3 and the Sejjil-2 that are a crucial component of its nuclear program.
But air-defense is all-important as well, particularly as the Israelis are saber-rattling again and tension is mounting with the United States.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/T.../#ixzz1gO5jRLXg
The most capable air defence system currently in PLA service are derivatives of the Russian Almaz S-300PMU/SA-10 Grumble family of Surface to Air Missiles. The S-300 SAM systems remain one of the most lethal, if not the most lethal, all altitude area defence SAM systems in service, with a range of more capable derivatives entering service in Russia, or in development. Over the Taiwan Strait the later versions of the S-300 become "offensive" weapons in that they can attack targets in Taiwanese airspace, severely challenging that nation’s air defense. Moreover, these missiles threaten all U.S. combat aircraft that may be called upon to assist Taiwan other than the stealthy B-2A and F-22A, the latter which is just entering service in diminished numbers.
China remains the single substantial export client for the S-300PMU/SA-10 Grumble, with other export sales having been sporadic and small. Until the advent of the S-300PMU/SA-10, the PLA's primary area defence SAM was the HQ-2, a reverse engineered derivative of the 1960s Soviet S-75 Dvina/Volkhov/Volga or SA-2 Guideline. With mobile tracked TELs and conventional launchers, the HQ-2 was not a credible weapon due to the vulnerability of its Fan Song series engagement radars to jamming and anti-radiation missile attack.
The S-300PMU/SA-10 family of SAMs are true analogues to the US MIM-104 Patriot, providing similar capabilities against aircraft targets at all altitudes, as well as ballistic missiles. With later variants offering genuine 'shoot and scoot' capabilities, the S-300PMU/SA-10 systems are both highly lethal, and highly survivable.
Evolution of the SA-10/SA-20
The origins of the S-300PMU/SA-10 system date to the late 1960s, when the Soviets opted to develop a much more effective SAM system to replace the S-75/SA-2 and S-200/SA-5, neither of which proved effective operationally. The intended 'common' S-300 was to be used by the Voyska PVO (Air Defence Forces), PVO SV (Army Air Defence) and Voenno-Morskii Flot (Navy), but the program soon unravelled and resulted in the very much unique V-PVO S-300P and PVO-SV S-300V systems.
The first production model was the S-300PT or SA-10A, with a towed 5P85 TEL, the V-500/5V55 SAM, a towed 5N63S Flap Lid A engagement radar, a towed 36D6 Tin Shield 3D acquisition radar, and the unique LEMZ 5N66/76N6 Clam Shell continuous wave low altitude acquisition radar, typically mast mounted. An important innovation was the family of semi-mobile 75 ft 40V6, 40V6M and 120 ft 40V6MD mast systems, available for the Flap Lid, Tin Shield and Clam Shell to provide much extended low altitude coverage.
The label 'Patriot-ski' is a reasonable one. The 5N63S and later 30N6 engagement radar is like the Patriot's MPQ-53 a space fed passive phased array design, built to concurrently track and engage multiple targets, and inherently difficult to jam with low sidelobe performance and high peak power. The command link guided 5V55K SAM could engage targets between 80 ft and 80 kft, to 25 nmi range.
With the advent of the F-4G Wild Weasel IV and EF-111A Raven during the late seventies, the Soviets responded in 1982 with the highly mobile S-300PS/SA-10B (S -Samokhodniy – Self Propelled), which saw the improved Flap Lid B and 5P85 TEL integrated on a 8×8 MAZ-7910, based on the MAZ 543 Scud TEL. The S-300PS is the forerunner of most current S-300PMU/SA-10 variants and a true 'shoot and scoot' system, unlike the Patriot. A key innovation was the new 5V55KD SAM, which introduced a Track Via Missile (TVM) terminal guidance scheme similar to the Patriot, and highly jam resistant.
The first export variant appeared in 1989, the S-300PMU/SA-10C, based on the S-300PS/SA-10B. The S-300PMU/SA-10C introduced the semitrailer based 5P85T road mobile TEL, cheaper and faster than the SA-10B's 5P85D/S TELs, but unable to negotiate rough terrain.
By 1993 Almaz developed a further evolution, in the S-300PM and S-300PMU-1 or SA-10D, the latter the export variant. Incremental and deep improvements were made to the 30N6E1 Flap Lid D, the 54K6E1 command post, and the Clam Shell was the retained. Two key innovations were the new 48N6 SAM, and the new NIIIP 64N6E Big Bird phased array acquisition radar, designed to acquire aircraft and ballistic missiles. The Mach 6 48N6 missile expanded the engagement envelope down to 25 ft AGL, out to 80 nmi, and added an Anti-Ballistic Missile capability comparable to the Patriot PAC-1/PAC-2 configuration. Almaz claim capability to 21.5 nmi and 2.8 km/sec.
The 64N6 was however the bigger advance. It is a large 2 GHz band reflective phased array, with boom mounted feeds, in a dual sector 'Janus-faced' arrangement. In terms of capabilities the 64N6 is best described as a 'land based Aegis analogue', with an aperture size similar to the SPY-1A Aegis system. It is fully mobile and can be deployed or stowed in five minutes.
While the SA-10D is formidable, Almaz continued with enhancements, releasing the further improved S-300PMU-2/SA-10E Favorit during the late 1990s. The Favorit introduced incremental improvements to the 30N6E2, 64N6E2, 54K6E2, and introduced the new all altitude LEMZ 96N6E Tombstone acquisition radar, replacing the Tin Shield, and the extended range 48N6E2 SAM. The Favorit retains compatitibility with the earlier 48N6/48N6E1 missiles, but also introduced software and interfaces allowing it to control legacy S-200VE/SA-5 Gammon batteries, and their 5N62VE Square Pair illuminators. In 2002 the Russians stated that existing S-300PM systems could be block upgraded to the Favorit-S configuration.
The next evolutionary step was the Almaz/Antey S-400 Triumf or SA-20, which is to achieve initial operational capability in Russia this year. The Triumf introduces further incremental improvements to the systems, and adds three entirely new SAM types to the weapons package.
The first two are the 96M6E and extended range 96M6E2. These are Russian equivalents to the US ERINT/PAC-3 interceptor, with both missiles using a combination of thrust vector control and canard surfaces to achieve agility, analogous in design to a short range air to air missile. Both weapons have active radar seekers and directional shaped charge warheads with a smart fusing system. Four of these missiles can be carried in tubes, within the footprint of a single 48N6 missile, allowing a single TEL to deploy 16 weapons.
A third missile type has been reported, with a cited range of 215 nmi against a high altitude target, since identified as the 48N6DM (Dal'naya – long range). This missile was developed to defeat AWACS, JSTARS, Rivet Joint, U-2, Global Hawk and other standoff ISR capabilities, as well as EA-6B or EF-18G support jammers. The Kolchuga long range ESM system is cited as a passive targeting adjunct for the Triumf system.
The Triumf thus provides a layered air defence capability within a single highly mobile system, with the 96M6 family missiles providing an organic self-defence engagement capability against smart weapons such as the Tomahawk, ALCM, JASSM, JSOW, HARM, JDAM-ER and SLAM-ER.
At least one report claims that funding for the development of the Triumf was provided in part by the PLA.
The recently announced 'Samodyerzhets' system is the latest evolution in the S-300PMU family of missiles. It is a fusion of technologies from the S-400 and PVO-SV S-300VM systems, designed as a dual role SAM/ABM system.
Russian sources claimed in 2003 that the system 'combine[s] the far range of the S-300VM missile and the advanced electronics of the S-400 missile'. Jane's identified, in 2004, the use of the extended range 9M82M Giant B round from the S-300VM, in an enhanced S-400 system. The TELAR configuration has yet to be disclosed.