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A-100 ‘Premier’ AWACS

The A-100, already nicknamed “a flying mushroom” due to the distinctive rotating radar dome above the fuselage, is an upgrade of its A-50 predecessor that first flew in 1978 and entered service in 1984. The primary antenna complex has the rotating antenna with two phased array radars with electronic vertical scanning and mechanical horizontally, and as with digital signal processing. As of August 2011 is stated in the media that the development of the antenna complex is almost complete. But in 2013, as a result of a joint commission of experts of JSC Concern Vega "and JSC NTC Leninist plants produced a decision to stop work at JSC Leninist. A-100 would continue using modern technology applications of semiconductor devices using the achievements of specialists of JSC Concern Vega and FSUE RNIIRS "(planned construction MBRLS through the use of solid-state digital AFAR in the S-band.

Russia will create a new A-100 AEW and Control System (AWACS). Russia hoped to develop a new airborne warning and control system (AWACS) plane by 2016, Air Force chief Col. Gen Alexander Zelin said on 09 August 2010. "There is full support for the Chief of Staff, financial support.... We are expecting to receive the A-100 aircraft built on the basis of the Il-476 transport plane with the PS-90 engine and extended flight range,” Zelin told reporters in Moscow. The new AWACS plane will have an advanced active phase array capable of detecting and tracking airborne and land-based targets. “We will have the carrier [Il-476] by 2013-2014 and should be able to build this plane by 2016,” Zelin said.

The Russian Air Force had around 20 A-50 Mainstay AWACS planes, based on the Ilyushin Il-76 transport. The A-50 is equipped with the large Liana surveillance radar with its antenna in an over-fuselage rotodome and can control up to ten fighter aircraft for either air-to-air intercept or air-to-ground attack missions.

In 1999, under US pressure, Israel refused to participate in the project to deliver to China the AWACS aircraft A-50I - the aircraft A-50 with fixed radar with phased complex "Falcon" from Israel. In 2000, representatives of the Indian Air Force became acquainted with the project A-50I and preparations began for the contract for the supply of three similar aircraft A-50EI. Apparently in 2000 by a group of experts headed by the Deputy General Designer of Beriev im.Berieva A.V.Yavkinym and the company "Afrus" (director - Nikolai Indreevich Katchalov, execution of interior presidential IL-96) prepared a technical proposal on the creation of a similar A -50EI aircraft for the Russian Air Force with the Russian radio systems with three large phased array radar under the fairing of the classical type - A-100E - export version for delivery to China.

On the basis of this aircraft and due to the planned Chinese finance, the creation of the A-100 aircraft began for the Russian Air Force. With the technical proposal appealed to the NGO "Vega", which refused to participate in the project, citing a lack of resources, although officially stated that only the RTC with a traditional rotating antenna is the best solution. This type of radar was not arranged for the potential customer of the aircraft A-100E - China - and called into question, accordingly, the financing of the program. The technical proposal eventually received support of MNIIP im Tikhomirov (director - Yuriy Ivanovich Bely).

After working through the technical proposal the Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense of Russia came the proposal to establish in the interests of the aerospace defense multifunctional aviation complex intelligence, warning and control (MAKROU), and drafted a TTZ for the complex. Probably in 2002, the materials for the project A-100E and TTZ project were presented to Igoryu Klimovu - Assistant Chairman of the Board of Directors kontsenra "Almaz-Antey" V.P.Ivanova (FSB Lieutenant General).

It was proposed to to make concern "Almaz-Antey" the parent company for the A-100E and later the A-100. The project was approved in the president's office and received by the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Then followed a series of events on the change of management and owner at Beriev (the unification of "Irkut"), as well as after changes in the Concern PVO "Almaz-Antey" (the 06 June 2003 death of Igor Klimov).

Igor Klimov was shot dead on June 6th, 2003, when he was leaving his house in Moscow. The assassin was shooting from a gun with a silencer. Directors of two other enterprises incorporated in the air defense concern have been killed before. In February of 2002 director of the commercial firm Rusma, Ruben Narimanov, was shot in St.Petersburg. Mikhail Ivanov, the general director of another factory, was killed in July of the same year. Investigators found, all assassinations were connected with one motive – the redistribution of the concern's property.

On 26 June 2003 the Ministry of Defense of Russia signed a contract with the prime contractor for complex group "Vega", with subcontractor MNIIP im Tikhomirov to build the A-100, and the export version, the A-100E.

For the first time that Russia will have a new AWACS aircraft, the general director of Concern, "Vega" Vladimir Verba said in September 2010. "Vega" is developing a radar system for the new aircraft. According to Verba, completely new complex will be ready by 2015 and will be based on IL-76 or AN-124 "Ruslan". Development of A-100 is in accordance with the decree of the President of Russia on April 28, 2004.

Development of an antenna and a radar station for the new AWACS aircraft has been completed. "It's very different than the A-50, with an active phased array. The aircraft will be able to solve the problems of air and ground targets," - said Zelin. As a carrier for the new radar will use a modified set of military transport aircraft Il-476 with PS-90. It will provide a greater range than standing on the Air Force A-50.

Currently in service with the Russian Air Force AWACS aircraft are 26 A-50M based on the Il-76MD. Manufacture of aircraft engaged in Taganrog Aviation Scientific-Technical Complex named after Beriev. A-50 is able to fly at speeds up to 800 kilometers per hour for distances up to 7.5 thousand kilometers. The aircraft is capable of detecting various types of air and ground targets at ranges up to 650 and 300 kilometers respectively. In this complex provides support for up to 300 targets.

At the present time concern "Vega" in conjunction with Beriev Beriev name is upgrading the A-50M aircraft to the version of A-50U. The latter is a deep modernization of the AWACS aircraft with advanced radar systems, "Bee-M" and "Bumblebee 2". Compared with the base A-50 AWACS aircraft provides new targets for capture a greater distance.

In February 2013 Glavkomat Air Force postponed the deadline for a draft of an A-100 airborne early warning (NAEW) from 2015 to 2017, the military went to meet the developer's repeated requests and Moscow JSC radio Engineering Corporation Vega. One of the reasons for the extension of the project was the a lack of the IL-76MD-90 military transport, which the press called IL-476. On its base the A-100 would be created, but, there was only one flying prototype. To make it a real AEW, designers must have a serial machine and know all the nuances of aerodynamics. Deeply modernized IL-76MD-90 still did not go to the series production, and the Defense Ministry already associated with extensive plans.

Representatives of the customer, i.e. the Ministry of Defense, doubted the ability of the group to give the result. The radar detected a number of design errors that call into question its fitness. The program "Russian trace AWACS" began in the year 2000. The competition was won by Almaz-Antei, which was set up on the basis of A-100 complex multi-position complex intelligence warnings and alerts. Due to the large size of equipment as the carrier was the IL-76 heavy or wide AN-124 "Ruslan". In the domestic A-100 implemented the principles and system of the early 1990s. It was hoped that series production IL-76md-90 still to begin before 2016. Then it will be possible to mount the radar system on their boards, test systems and only then to succumb to alarmist sentiments.

By contrast, the A-100’s onboard defense system does not interfere with the work of its radar while, at the same time, making the plane impossible to lock on and track. “The American AWACS’ radio-electronic warfare station used to hamper the work of its own radar and was subject to interference from its onboard surveillance stations, which is why they eventually gave up on them which made their AWACS less effective and more vulnerable too,” defense expert Alexei Leonkov told Izvestia 27 August 2016.

The A-100LL ‘flying laboratory’ is ready to take to the skies, the United Instrument Corporation’s chief designer Vladimir Verba told RIA Novosti 20 October 2016. The Beriyev A-100LL is built around the A-50 early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft and is designed to stress-test all of the plane’s elements and the electromagnetic compatibility of Russia’s next-generation A-100 airborne early warning and control (AWACS) aircraft.

Vladimir Verba said that the new design was being developed as part of the Premier-476 system that will accommodate the avionics and radar systems, including its distinctive rotating radar dome above the fuselage, and replace the A-50 and A-50U AWACS aircraft currently in service. “The Premier-476 ‘flying lab’ enables us to test its elements and their compatibility thus ensuring quality implementation of our mission and save time and money during the flight tests of the A-100, which is based on the Il-76MD-90A platform,” Verba added. Work on the creation of a new generation of the AWACS system in Russia uses fundamental studies in the field of radiolocation and information technologies.

“This will enable us to look ahead and create future technologies for our defense and economic sectors,” Vladimir Verba said. The A-100 AWACS plane is built around a multilateration radar unit featuring a pair of phased-array antennas capable of detecting enemy fighter planes at a distance of up to 600 kilometers and surface ships up to 400 kilometers away. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier said that the A-100, designed to keep an eye on aerial and ground targets, was able to detect new types of targets and direct attack aircraft to destroy them.

The A-100’s maiden flight to stress-test all its systems in the air was slated for March 2017. If everything goes well, the “flying radar” would become operational in 2018.

Radio systems perspective aircraft airborne patrol and targeting A-100 "Primier" was first tested in flight on a flying laboratory 21 April 2017. This was the general designer of the Russian Federation on systems and complexes intelligence, patrol and air-based management, the general director of Concern "Vega" (part of the joint "Russian Electronics" state corporation Rostec) Vladimir Verba. "Today, after a long stay in preparation for the preliminary tests took flight research aircraft A-100LL special feature of today's flight was the first inclusion apparatus radio complex." Prime "in the actual traffic situation in terms of the flight of the aircraft A-100LL" - Verba said. According to him, the new A-100LL flight while taking advantage of the apparatus radio complex "Premier" in the actual traffic situation translates testing to a new level. "Test flights flying laboratory give us unique information about complex performance in the real situation, which can not be modeled on the ground stands," - he said.

The A-100LL was created from one of the aircraft A-50 decommissioned Russian VKS. The aircraft fuselage structure made some changes, in particular dismantled characteristic "mushroom" -obtekatel radar antenna. On board the aircraft installed system new generation of radio engineering complex, made on the basis of the most modern technologies and components. This applies to both means of obtaining information, and the computer system for processing and computer workstations operators. A-100 was created on the basis of the previous generation aircraft A-50 (based on a military transport Il-76). In the future, the A-100 equipment will be moved to a modernized Il-76MD-90A, on the basis of which the production models will be produced "Premiere".

The A-100 multifunctional aviation complex for radar monitoring and guidance made its second flight 20 December 2018 as part of flight design tests, all systems worked out normally. The work on the creation of the A-100 aircraft is carried out by the cooperation of enterprises headed by Concern Vega JSC (part of the Roselectronics holding) and PJSC TANTK im. G.M. Beriev". During the flight, the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft and the operability of the avionics were checked. The machine demonstrated normal behavior in all flight modes: the aircraft systems and the engine control system worked out in accordance with the specified parameters and are ready for further testing stages.

“In the new generation of flying radars, we have managed to embody the results of the most advanced fundamental research in the field of radar and information technology. For the A-100, technical solutions based on modern electronic components, high-performance computing tools, and the latest achievements of domestic radio electronics were used. This applies to both the means of obtaining information and the computer complex for its processing, as well as automated workplaces of operators. - said Vladimir Verba, General Designer of Vega Concern JSC, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “The ongoing work on the creation of a new complex is aimed at achieving the combat and flight performance of the A-100, significantly exceeding both domestic and foreign counterparts.”

On 08 February 2019, the first flight of the A-100 multifunctional aviation complex for radar surveillance and guidance (MAK RLDN) took place as part of the preliminary flight tests program. During the flight, the flight and navigation characteristics of the base aircraft, the operation of the automatic control system were checked, the characteristics of the aeroelastic stability of the airframe were evaluated, and the communication algorithms between the flight crew and the ground control station were tested. By the beginning of the program of preliminary flight tests, the aircraft fuselage was painted in the colors of the Russian Air Force.

Specialists of the Concern "Vega" of the holding "Ruselectronics" and TANTK them. G.M. Berieva as part of PJSC "UAC" (both are part of the Rostec State Corporation) conducted the first flight of the A-100 long-range radar surveillance and guidance aviation complex with the on-board radio-technical complex (BRTK) turned on 10 February 2022. The tests confirmed the regular operation of special equipment, as well as aircraft on-board systems in conditions of high electromagnetic radiation.

During the flight, the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft, the operability of the avionics and parts of the target equipment of the BRTK were checked. Aircraft systems have worked out in accordance with the specified parameters and are ready for further types of tests.

“The flight was in normal mode. All systems and equipment worked correctly. The crew fully completed the flight task, having checked the stability and controllability of the aircraft in the given piloting modes, as well as the operation of the complex installed on the aircraft. The Il-76MD-90A platform confirmed the specified characteristics, ”said the crew commander, test pilot of the TANTK named after. G.M. Berieva, honored test pilot of the first class Sergey Parkhaev.

The new generation aviation complex was created on the basis of the Il-76MD-90A aircraft, on which a radome with a unique antenna system and the latest special radio equipment developed by the Vega Concern (part of Ruselectronics) are installed. A-100 can detect and track air and other targets, as well as participate in the control of fighter and attack aircraft when pointing at air, ground and sea targets.

When creating radio equipment for the A-100, technical solutions based on a modern electronic component base, high-performance computing tools, and the latest achievements of domestic radio electronics were used. This applies to both the means of obtaining information and the computer complex for its processing, as well as automated workplaces of operators.

“An important stage of testing the A-100 has begun - an aviation complex that embodies the most advanced developments. Scientists and designers have confirmed that Russian technologies for creating radar patrol and guidance aircraft are at the world level. During 2022, we plan to complete the cycle of preliminary flight tests and transfer the complex for state joint tests,” said Vladimir Verba, General Designer of the Vega Concern, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.



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Page last modified: 03-07-2022 15:25:04 ZULU