Moscow beefs up air defense with new radars


russia-radar-deployed_siFour mobile radar stations designed for S-300 and S-400 air defense batteries have been added to the shield covering Moscow against airstrikes. The new all-altitude detectors can track up to 100 targets, be they missiles, drones or manned aircraft.

The addition of the hardware was announced on Saturday by Deputy  Commander of the Aerospace Defense Forces, Major General Kirill  Makarov.

“Those intelligence systems can detect aerial targets, including  cruise missiles, at a long distance. Their use allows timely  detection and countering of an enemy airstrike when necessary,”   the general, who heads all Russia’s air defense troops, said.

The 96L6E target acquisition radar is an optional component for  newer versions of S-300 and all S-400 air defense batteries. The  mobile radar is attached to a unit when it is deployed for  autonomous operation and cannot rely on stationary radar stations  to detect and identify targets. It can detect aircraft, including  planes, helicopters, drones and missiles, at a range of up to  300km and track up to 100 of them simultaneously.

It came as a replacement to two separate radar systems, which  sweep low altitudes and mid-to-high altitudes respectively.  Unlike them the 96L6E covers all altitudes. It can serve as a  command post or feed data to a separate battle station for  automated tracking and engagement of targets.

The radar is supplied in two configuration designs, the more  common being the self-propelled one-vehicle carrying all the  equipment and a power generator on a single chassis. It can be  deployed from retracted position to combat readiness in five  minutes.

The antenna can be raised on an optional 24 meter or 40 meter  mast rather than use its dedicated turntable, which enhances the  radar’s ability to detect low-altitude targets in forested and  hilly terrain.

Russia’s capital has been traditionally the most heavily-guarded  location in the country in terms of air defense. When the US and  Soviet Union agreed to limit anti-missile technologies in 1972 to  reduce Cold War tension, they limited the number of sites  protected from a ballistic missile strike to one in each country.  Moscow was chosen by the Soviets.

Throughout the country the Russian Airspace Defense Forces detect  and track an average of 800 aircraft daily as part of their job. (RT News)