Electronic defense: which systems are developed in Russia to counter drones?
MOSCOW, (BM) – The Russian military in the exercises in the Orenburg region successfully used the latest anti-drone complex “Silok”. This system allows you to neutralize various UAVs using electronic warfare.
Today, developments in this area are carried out at once at several enterprises of the Russian Federation. According to experts, drones are increasingly used in armed conflicts, including for sabotage attacks, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing RT.
Analysts believe that in these conditions, the creation of means to combat unmanned vehicles is a priority.
Specialists of electronic warfare (EW) of the 2nd Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District conducted an exercise in the Orenburg Region using the latest Silok anti-drone system. This was reported on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense.
“According to the teachings, the military using the Silok complex discovered a swarm of enemy attack drones approaching a defense plant. EW units have worked out actions to repel a group attack of enemy drones based on the experience of modern local conflicts,” the report says.
The defense department said that with the help of Silk, the military successfully completed the tasks assigned to them.
“The complex made it possible to automatically detect airborne objects, determine their coordinates and suppress at various operating frequency ranges. The control and communication channels of the drones were suppressed at a distance of 4 km from their home base,” the site says.
According to the RF Ministry of Defense, more than 500 military personnel took part in the exercises at the Totsky training ground, more than 100 units of military and special equipment were involved. Practical activities were carried out in the daytime and at night.
Catch in “Silok”
Electronic warfare systems “Silok” were developed by the Moscow defense concern “Constellation” (part of “Rostec”). They are designed to detect and neutralize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) without physical impact on the target.
The device automatically detects UAVs, determines their coordinates, and then disables control, telemetry and communication channels, as a result of which drones are unusable.
TTX of this unit have not been published in the public domain. It is only known that the “Silok” is capable of guaranteed suppressing UAV equipment at a distance of more than 4 km from its location.
For the first time to intercept drones, the complex was used in 2018 at the CSTO Exercise of the Unbreakable Brotherhood – 2018. According to the scenario of the maneuvers, the “militants” sent shock drones to the refugee camp.
To counteract them, the military deployed the Silok complexes, which they used to detect and intercept the control of the UAV, and then put them in a safe place.
In the autumn of the same year, Silok entered combat duty at a Russian military base in Tajikistan.
“The latest electronic warfare systems will be located on the territory of the compound and will increase the anti-terrorist protection of Russian military facilities in Tajikistan. The new electronic warfare equipment, delivered to the troops of the Central Military District, significantly increases the combat power of the units and military units of the district,” the Ministry of Defense’s website reported.
According to experts, Russia has already had to deal with an UAV attack. So, in 2018, terrorists in Syria sent a swarm of explosive drones to a base in Khmeimim.
In addition to Silka, the Constellation concern created an automatic electronic warfare system for unmanned aerial vehicles Solaris-N. This system “provides protection against drones on an area of up to 80 square meters. km”, noted on the site of“ Rostec ”.
The “intelligent” Solaris-N system protects the territory from the penetration of drones in automatic mode. The reconnaissance equipment detects a flying object, analyzes the trajectory of movement and the structure of the signal, after which it independently determines whether it is a drone and decides on further actions.
“After identifying the object as an unmanned aerial vehicle, the complex begins to act on it with radio interference, blocking the data reception and transmission channels and blocking the navigation and temporal support equipment. Due to this, the drone loses orientation and crashes,” Rostec reports.
In Russia, there are other developments of this kind, experts say.
Among them – the “gun” electronic warfare REX-1 from the company Zala Aero Group [part of the Kalashnikov concern]. This device is a portable electronic warfare system that resembles small arms in its form: it has a “barrel”, “butt” and “trigger”, although in this case they perform completely different functions than in fire systems.
According to the developers, the advantages of REX-1 include the minimum deployment time, ease of use, a range of 2 km (the highest figure among devices of this class) and 3 hours of continuous operation.
Another system developed in the bowels of the Zala Aero Group is the ZALA ZONT, a portable suppressor of satellite navigation systems.
This unit, along with the battery, weighs only 800 g. The dimensions of the “gadget” allow you to carry it in a standard pouch for transporting a machine gun. The range of ZALA ZONT is up to 2 km, the operating time without recharging is 6 hours.
A larger device was created by the holding Roselektronika (part of Rostec). We are talking about the Cheryomukha radio monitoring module, which allows you to detect the direction in which the drone and its operator are located with an error of two degrees. The complex is conceived in two versions: mobile and stationary.
In the future, “Cheryomuhu” can be integrated into a single complex of counteraction against drones, which can also include a module of passive coherent locator (PCL) and a module of electronic suppression “SERP”.
“The range of drones is growing”
According to experts, unmanned aerial vehicles of various types will be increasingly used every year, including on the battlefield and in sabotage attacks. At the same time, terrorists use not only civilian drones, but also create simple airplane-type UAVs that can carry more damaging elements.
According to analysts, the use of such affordable devices can have serious consequences. As one of the most resonant examples of drone attacks, they cited an attack on oil plants in Saudi Arabia in 2019, which seriously affected the world’s black gold quotes.
“The fight against drones is gaining momentum every year, so the need for such devices as Silok is really high. The assortment of drones is growing: there are small devices, handheld, medium and large,” Dmitry Kornev, founder of the Military Russia portal, said in a commentary on RT.
According to him, in cases with small drones that can be controlled by terrorists, the main method of struggle is to create “electromagnetic interference that can disrupt the operation of the drone itself or block its communication channel with the operator or the focal point.”
A more complex form of counteraction is an attempt to spoil the electronic “brains” of the drone, Kornev believes.
“Using guidance systems to make the drone“ crazy ”is more difficult, but this is also possible. With the help of sufficiently powerful sources of electromagnetic radiation aimed at the detected object, this can be achieved, but here, as far as I know, work is only ongoing,” the analyst said.
An expert of the AERONET working group Eduard Baghdasaryan also spoke about the relevance of creating anti-drone systems in an interview with RT.
“The need for drones is very high today. There are many such systems, but basically they are at the development or refinement stage. They are just starting to use them,” he stressed.
Baghdasaryan noted that the main problem in the fight against small drones is the unpredictability of attackers.
“The main difficulty in using high-precision weapons against small unmanned aerial vehicles is the surprise factor. They need to be monitored and prepared to be destroyed, ” the expert believes.
At the same time, analysts agreed that today Russia occupies a leading position in the creation of electronic warfare systems.
“Electronic warfare systems for the USSR and Russia are traditionally a priority area, and much attention has been paid to it. In Russia, the radio industry and the school for the creation of electronic systems have been preserved. This Soviet groundwork was saved and developed. Russia is one of the world leaders in creating radio-electronic systems of this class,” Kornev concluded.
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