Sver MGK-608 Stationary passive sonar complex
The serial stationary passive sonar complex MGK-608E, according to some sources, has a second name - North [ru = Sver]. The stationary passive sonar complex “MGK-608E” is a series of linear phased array antennas (PAR) installed on the seabed, consisting of receiving elements (hydrophones), which can be carried out at a distance of tens to hundreds of kilometers from the coastline. The signals received by hydrophones are an additive mixture of uncorrelated noise interference from distributed long-distance shipping noise and noise from local noise sources located in the system coverage area.
The signals received by each hydrophone, after filtering and amplification, are converted to digital form and transmitted via a fiber-optic cable line to the coastal post, where the received hydroacoustic information is processed in the measuring and computing complex. After processing, the information is presented to the operator for final decision making. The remote part of the complex is powered by a remote power device located in the premises of the information collection and processing post. To set up the remote part of the complex, a specialized cable vessel is used.
Stationary passive sonar complex “MGK-608E” is designed for continuous performance of the following functions:
- detection of hydro-acoustic field of underwater and surface objects;
- sonar monitoring of detected surface and underwater objects with the determination of the course, speed and model of their behavior;
- automated classification of objects by their noise emission;
- Documenting and archiving information about discovered objects;
- automated diagnosis of the technical condition of the MGK-608E sonar complex when it is turned on and monitoring of operation during its intended use;
- automated issuance of information about detected objects.
|number of sonar antennas in the system, pcs||up to 60|
|Removal of antennas from the coastline, km||200|
|Depth of installation, m||up to 1000|
|probability of classifying an underwater object||0.9|
|Error determining the location of the object, km||1.2-2|
|Error determining the speed of the underwater object,%||2|
|Error determining the course of the underwater object, deg.||6|
|Service staff||2 people / shift|
|Service life, years||ten|
Mention of the North ["Sver"] system can be found in the noteworthy scientific article "Network-Centric Approach to Solving the Problem of Lighting the Underwater Environment in the Arctic". A group of authors, headed by academician Peshekhonov, examining the concept of underwater monitoring of the northern borders of Russia, writes literally the following: "Stationary sonar complexes of the North type deployed in the Arctic control only a negligible part of the water area of ??the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. Moreover, due to the openness of their installation, they are subject to effective counteraction, up to their failure".
The Northern Fleet declined to comment on the performance of the MGK-608M stationary underwater lighting complex, which was damaged by trawlers in 2016. This information had limited access in accordance with the law "On State Secrets," the official response of the Federation Council said.
The editorial request contained three questions. The first concerned the severity of the damage and their impact on the fleet's ability to monitor the underwater environment. The second question concerned the actions of those responsible who were taken when MGK-608M cable damage was detected. The third asked what was planned to be done to prevent a recurrence of the incident in the future.
The topic remained open by 2019. There is no information on whether the Ministry of Defense provided a cable vessel for product repairs. Last time, the Inguri cable-laying project 1274 was engaged in an examination of the hydroacoustic system.
Interviewee Mil.Press FlotProm at Hotcha Marine Design, in conversation with the publication, confirmed that the issue of the shortage of cable vessels was an acute issue in the country. The designers of this bureau contributed to the correction by developing project 15310. Two vessels of this project - "Sviyaga" and "Vyatka" - are currently in the dry dock of the Zaliv plant. Their launch was planned for 2018 and 2019, but was postponed due to problems with the supply of components.
Crimean cable layers must replace ships that are part of the domestic fleet for more than 30 years. For example, the large cable vessel Inguri was launched in 1977, and the small vessel Biryusa of project 1275 in 1985. All cable layers of these projects are built in Finland.
In June 2016 "7 Feet Beneath the Keel" reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense was planning to install a new, modernized MGK-608M fixed undersea surveillance system in the Barents Sea by the end of 2016. The announced contract covered the installation, set-up, and calibration of the system, but not the production of the system – which suggested that the system had already been produced. The contract also covered training of operators at the Northern Fleet’s Experimental Sonar Facility in Severomorsk. The total cost of the MOD contract is RUB 216,349,700.
Based on the contract (RA/1/04/?/0347/2015), at-sea installation of the MGK-608M will be performed by a Northern Fleet cable ship. This most likely will be the fleet’s only operational Klasma-class cable ship – “Inguri”. The contract also contains other interesting details:
- this MGK-608M will replace a prototype MGK-608M system installed some time earlier
- there are passive and active elements of the system
- the current passive section will be lengthened by 105 kilometers
- the system will be connected to an Alevrit “functional surveillance control system” [procurement and installation of the Alevrit system is covered under state contract RA/1/04/?/0346/2015]
- the cable ship will spend 218 days in port and 50 days at sea loading, checking, installing, and calibrating elements of the system
An earlier version of the undersea surveillance system, MGK-608, has been in operation since the mid-1990s. Contracts for repairs of the MGK-608 in 2007-2008 indicate that the older system was still functional at that time.
Annual stockholder reports (2011-2013) for the Special Draft Design Bureau of Control Systems showed that the company was working on software improvements for MGK-608 systems under a State Defense Order for the “Severyanin” program; its efforts were to continue into 2015. Additionally, the reports indicated that the company has been working on a component of a Scientific Research Project (OKR) called “Silda” under state contract 253/10/8/?/0028-07 (signed September 28, 2007). The contract stipulated that work on OKR “Silda” was to occur between September 2007 and March 2015. Thus, while there appears to be a link between MGK-608, the “Severyanin” project, and OKR “Silda”, the link between these efforts and either the prototype or newer MGK-608M was not clear.
The stationary underwater lighting complex MGK-608M in 2016 was damaged by trawlers by fishermen. MGK-608M signed a contract for the installation, installation, commissioning and adjustment of the MGK-608M with Atoll in 2015. Its price amounted to 216 million rubles. Atoll employees were already finishing work when, at the end of 2016, an expedition from representatives of the institute and military unit 09703-B on the Inguri cable vessel discovered damage to the main cable over a distance of about 100 km. The nature of the damage indicated the use of bottom trawls by fishing vessels. In February 2019, Mil.Press FlotProm announced that the military department and the creators of the complex, the Atoll Research Institute, are arguing with the courts about the expense of repairing the MGK-608M.
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