Russian Central district to receive Nebo-M radars

The Russian Defense Ministry decided to fully equip the 76th Air Defense Division with Nebo-M radars. The first unit has been already supplied. It can monitor round-the-clock aerodynamic targets over a territory of 1 million square kilometers, detect stealth aircraft, drones and ballistic missiles. It is a part of the plan to create a total radar field along the national borders, the Izvestia daily writes.
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55Zh6M Nebo-M mobile multiband radar system (right) (Picture source: Army Recognition)

In contrast to radars of antiaircraft missile systems, Nebo-M is on constant duty and monitors the airspace round-the-clock. The latest radars will be delivered to the 76th air defense division of the Central Military District which is the biggest Russian air defense formation in Central Asia. It protects Samara, Yekaterinburg and their industrial clusters, as well as the Russian strategic aviation base in Engels. The 22nd Heavy Bomber Division with strategic Tupolev Tu-95MS and Tu-160 aircraft is deployed there. The 76th Division is being rearmed with S-400 Triumf launchers, Pantsir missile-gun systems and the latest radars.

The Defense Ministry announced plans in December 2019 to create a total radar field along the Russian borders similar to the early missile attack warning system. It will monitor the approach of combat aircraft and cruise missile launches. “There is a single radar field along the Russian borders, but there is no total control at low altitudes so far. The conflicts in Libya, Nagorno Karabakh show that various radars are necessary to fight distant, high-altitude and major targets, as well as small drones,” expert Viktor Murakhovsky said.

Nebo-M detects targets at medium and high altitudes. Therefore, it usually operates together with Podlet radar which monitors low-flying targets. It has a range of 300 km. The radars can detect any air target, including with low cross section. They include drones and loitering munitions, the expert said.

Nebo-M unites three independent radars carried by separate vehicles. They operate in centimeter, decimeter and meter bands. The command post collects the information. The radars can operate solo and together. The simultaneous engagement of various bands properly detects stealth aircraft, cruise missiles and drones. The computer analyzes and compares data received in various bands and identifies weakly reflected signals.

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55Zh6M Nebo-M mobile multiband radar system (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)

The information exchange between the four vehicles (radars and command post) is wireless and needs no cables. Each radar has an electric 100 KW power generator. It all simplifies and accelerates the deployment in a new place. It takes only 25 minutes.

Almaz-Antey Concern said the radar detects targets with one square meter cross section at a distance of 600 km. If the radar abandons the round view and focuses in one direction, it can see ballistic missiles in a 90-degree sector at a distance of 1,800 km. “Nebo-M is a modern radar with digital signal processing. It can operate databases with object signatures. There is a decision support system which selects targets by significance or threat in a specific situation. The process is automatic and uses modern element base,” Murakhovsky said.

The target information is automatically transmitted to division headquarters and distributed among missile regiments and aviation guidance posts. The radar automatically interacts with S-400 and S-300V4 air defense launchers with a range of 400 km.

Nebo-M and Container radars are the backbone of the total radar field along the Russian ground border. The latest radars are supplied to the units deployed in the most dangerous directions. The first serial Nebo-M were delivered to the Western Military District in 2017. They were later supplied to regiments in Transbaikalia, Khabarovsk and Primorye regions. The radars were delivered to Crimean air defense in 2018. Mobile Nebo-M can be rapidly redeployed by land or airlifters.

Besides Nebo-M, stationary over-the-horizon Container radars also watch combat aviation close to Russian borders. They can detect targets at a distance of 2,000 km, the Izvestia said.

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