Buk-M1-2 - Multi-Role Capabilities
The rapid development of electronic and optronic reconnaissance systems, battle-management and high-precision weapon control systems, as well as electronic countermeasures and other systems has resulted in the concentration of large amounts of electronic and optronic systems in troops which often duplicate one another and affect electromagnetic compatibility considerably increasing the cost of a force grouping. This is why it is expedient to consider the possibility of broadening the scope of tasks fulfilled by offensive or defensive armaments.
The modernization of the Buk-M1-2 air defense medium-range missile system was carried out by the Instrument-Making Research Institute within a short period of time. As a result of the modernization, an antiaircraft system acquired properties of an anti-missile system capable of destroying tactical ballistic missiles, air-launched missiles and bombs, and antiradar missiles. Buk-M1-2 can destroy naval ships out to a range of about 25 kilometers and land-based radio-contrast targets, including large command posts, tactical ballistic missile control posts, aircraft on airfields, bridges and other facilities.
Thus, the medium-range antiaircraft missile system has turned into a reconnaissance and defensive system. However, the capabilities of Buk-M1-2 have not yet been fully tapped and can further be expanded within a short period of time at customer request. As Buk-M1-2 is a highly mobile system featuring combat capabilities in action against a wide range of targets flying at various ranges and altitudes, it is most suited for shielding front-line aviation airfields, including those using highways.
Should the system's command post be upgraded appropriately, its capabilities in detecting air targets and determining their coordinates with high accuracy would be enhanced materially allowing the system to be used, in addition to its dedicated application, for the flight control and fighter aircraft direction until the arrival and installation of basic flight control facilities. Usually, aircraft flight control involves plenty of various equipment, above all radars, characterized by low mobility.
Studies conducted at NIIP revealed the possibility of using the Buk-M1-2 system to establish coordinates of enemy artillery and tactical ballistic missile positions by extending flight trajectories of projectiles (mortar shells) and missiles calculated by the system. These capabilities can also be broadened via upgrading only its software.
Air situation data collection, especially under electronic countermeasures, requires the use of all radar facilities supplied by air defense missile systems and radar data processing points located at a superior command post, which impairs emanations security. It is known that the jamming signals not only reduce radar operating range but also distort the data generated by it. The Vega radar system built on the basis of the Orion passive radar is capable of generating the target designation data and transmitting it to an ADM system command post, identifying the type or class of major piloted air threats while keeping radio silence. Data exchanges between Vega and Buk-M1-2 do not require any serious updates of Buk's command post.
The efficiency of the Buk-M1-2 system in defeating naval ships and land-based radio-contrast targets was confirmed by missile launches at a mine sweeper and at a Tupolev Tu-16 aircraft and tactical ballistic missile launchers. The system's killing range depends not only on its characteristics but also on the type and location of a target and on the location of the system itself.
For example, the large vertical dimensions of ships (superstructures, hull height, etc.) and the elevation of the coastline above sea level by 10 to 30 or more meters, make it possible to move the radio horizon 25 to 30 kilometers farther in the surface surveillance mode and destroy ships at a distance of up to 25 kilometers. At the same time, a surface ship carries armaments, including cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and other kinds of offensive weapons, which can be destroyed by the system's missiles. These weapons can be engaged by Buk in self-defense or when they are used against friendly troops and military installations.
Such air-launched missiles and guided aerial bombs as Maverick and Walleye can be engaged both for self-defense of the battery and when used against friendly forces. Anti-radiation missiles are normally engaged in self-defense or when used against other friendly air defense missile systems (various sensors or other systems engaging other targets at the moment).
Compared with surface targets, ground targets are more difficult to engage, mainly due to the diffuse reflections from the flat underlying surface (fields, the steppe, meadows and so on), and strong reflections from local structures and objects (houses, hills, combat materiel and armaments on the battlefield, etc) which are high contrast radar targets, i.e. a source of powerful interference that requires updating missile guidance algorithms.
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