Ukraine is a member of an elite club of ten countries which have the potential to design, develop and manufacture radar technologies. The industry’s product portfolio includes world-renowned radar technology designs such as the ‘Kolchuga-M’ long-range passive electronic monitoring radar system designed and developed by the ‘Topaz’ state-owned joint-stock holding company, an upgraded 3D radar system 35D6, newly-designed 3D radar system 79 K6 developed as an export modification of the 80K6 ‘Pelican’ by the federal budget-supported enterprise ‘Research/Production Corporation ‘Iskra,’” and a variety of upgrade packages developed for the RLS P-18 radar system by the tandem of the ‘Ukrspetstechnika’ Holding Company and Research/Production Association ‘Aerotechnika.’
The upgraded RLS P-18 effectively represents a new design with improved antijamming performance capabilities and a 3D surveillance capability. Each of these radar designs have been accepted as standard equipment for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, although Ukrainian Army’s acquisitions of newly-made and upgraded radar systems remain insignificant.
In addition to ‘Topaz’ and ‘Aerotechnika’, radar system designs have been handled by the OJSC ‘Neptun’ and the Federal budget-supported enterprise “Central Design Bureau SKB ‘Molniya,’” both based in Odessa (suppliers of a variety of sound ranging system de-signs), the holding company ‘Ukrspetstechnika’ which manufactures man-portable short-range ground-surveillance radar systems, and the Research and Development Institute of Radar Technologies ‘NII Kvant-Radiolocation’ in Kyiv.
Ukraine was one of the most technically advanced republics of the USSR. It even had some attributes of independence like its own constitution and the formal right to secession, which, of course, was impossible to implement in practice. Ukraine was also a member of the UN since the founding of this organization. However, before the collapse of the USSR in 1991, Ukrainian scientists were involved in the overall development of science and technology of the USSR. Many immigrants from the Ukraine worked on development of modern electronic technology in different organizations inMoscow, Leningrad (Saint-Petersburg) and other Russian scientific centers.
Radar, being a synthetic field of science and technology, has incorporated advances in the theory and technology of antennas, radio waves propagation, transmitters and receivers, signal processing, automatic control, information display, etc. One of the key engineering prerequisites for implementation of the radar idea was to create powerful microwave generators. The research in this field was initiated in Ukraine in the 1920s at the Kharkov National University (KhNU). In 1924, A.A. Slutskin (1881-1950) and D.S. Steinberg (1888-1934) studied the processes in electronic valves under the action of external magnetic field. This led to creation of powerful generators of magnetron type.
Based on the successful generator development, in 1935 A. Slutskin started an ambitious project, developing the first-ever three-coordinate L-band pulse radar with an operating wavelength of 60 cm. At that time, existed systems were able to determine only two target coordinates.
Unfortunately, the purges that smashed Ukrainian Institute of Physics and Technology (UIPT, now The National Scientific Center— Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology – NSC-KhIPT) after 1937 slowed down the work. Then WWII and the first defeat of Red Army in Ukraine disrupted the plans, and no radar was put into serial production. The post-War period was characterized by the creation of many new military and civilian research institutes in Kiev, Kharkov and other cities, including of radar profile. UIPT was returned back to Kharkov.
The period 1955-1990 was the heyday of radar science in ARTA (another name VIRTA), in Kharkov Aviation Institute (today Kharkiv National Aerospace University “KhAI”), in the Usikov Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics (IRE NASU), Odessa Politechnic Institute, Kiev Institute of Civil Aviation Engineers (today National Aviation University - NAU) and many other institutions.
The works in Ukraine since 1991 were characterized by a sharp weakening of the budget funding for science. A lot of powerful scientific centers, especially military ones were gradually disbanded or combined (including ARTA). Contractual relations with Russia were almost terminated. Electronic and radioengineering industry also seriously suffered. There were a lot of industrial enterprises involved in radar development and production in Ukraine. Nowadays many of huge institutions disintegrated but some new small ones have been created.
Secretary of the National Security and Defense of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov visited the "Radiovymirywatch" State Enterprise of the "Ukroboronprom" concern 24 June 2016, where he conducted the intersectoral meeting on the issues of electronic intelligence and electronic warfare support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Heads of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and the military-industrial complex also participated in the meeting.
According to Mr. Turchynov, the Russian Federation in the occupied territories is actively using powerful electronic intelligence and electronic warfare systems against Ukraine. "In combat conditions, they are trying out and testing their new developments", - he underlined. "Therefore, - Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine noted, - providing the Armed Forces, the Chief Directorate of Intelligence and other military formations with modern radio-electronic tools will allow to effectively counter the Russian military aggression".
At the same time, Oleksandr Turchynov acknowledged that nowadays "the tasks of electronic defense of the troops and facilities from destruction by the enemy's systems of precision weapons are solved inefficiently". "The same applies to the protection of electronic means of control of the Armed Forces from the enemy's new developments", - he pointed out, adding that the conduct of effective military operations in modern conditions is impossible without wide application of the electronic intelligence devices and intense electronic countermeasures.
"The presence in the Armed Forces of such modern electronic intelligence and electronic warfare means will allow to unmask the intentions of the enemy in due time, to suppress its electronic communication and control means, to block the use of UAVs, to make quick decisions in difficult conditions of conducting the modern battle and to achieve victory", - Mr. Turchynov said.
During the meeting, Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine stressed that one of the priority tasks is to resume in a very short time the production on the PJSC "Topaz", evacuated from Donetsk to Zaporizhzhia region, of the modern long-range electronic intelligence complexes "Kolchuga KE" as well as the production on Kiev enterprises of the universal stations of electronic and target environment control of new generation developed by the "Quantum- radiolocation" Research Institute.
"Our designers, scientists and manufacturers face the challenge to ensure the creation of a broad range of modern radio-electronic systems both at the enterprises of the "Ukroboronprom" concern and in the private sector", - Mr. Turchynov noticed, stating that this priority should be reflected in the new State defense order.
"In Ukraine, there is a scientific and industrial potential, which should be used in the most efficient way to achieve the tasks set. Certainly, to speed up the adjustment of the production of modern electronic intelligence and electronic warfare means we must break the resistance to military-technical cooperation and cooperation with the leading world manufacturers of the respective products", - he summarized.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|