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Air Power Australia
Air Power Australia


Technical Analysis of Latest Russian Counter Stealth Radar April 29, 2008


Air Power Australia is pleased to provide a copy of its latest analysis which covers the current development, technology, capabilities and future development of Russia's first Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) VHF (2 metre band) radar, the 1L119 NEBO SVU. This is the first detailed forensic analysis of this radar published to date.

The NEBO SVU is a fully featured digital AESA design incorporating all of the technological refinements of current Western early warning, ground controlled intercept and surface to air missile acquisition radars. Where it differs from Western designs is that it operates in the 2 metre VHF band which provides it, by design, with a detection capability against smaller fighter sized stealth aircraft. The 2 metre band wavelength of this radar defeats the physics of X-band shaping in aircraft such as the F-35 JSF and F/A-18F.

The radar has agile electronic beamsteering and is demonstrably accurate enough to provide midcourse guidance updates for surface to air missiles or Beyond Visual Range air to air missiles.

The Russians have been very actively marketing this radar for export since last year, with production approval and certification achieved in 2004. No less importantly, the Russians have been marketing the radar specifically on the grounds of its ability to detect and track stealthy targets:

Igor Krylov (NNIIRT Chief Design Engineer): "We can see the Stealth as clearly as any other plane".

Viktor Ozherelev (NNIIRT head, department of scientific and technical information): "Now even the Americans have begun to make such [VHF] radars as well, as they understand that their 'stealth' program has failed. These radars can detect aircraft constructed using 'stealth' technology. We have a number of prospects who want to procure a metric band radar."; "The Nebo SVU is the first radar with a solid state active phased array antenna operating in the metric wavelength [VHF] band. Here, each radiating antenna element has its own transceiver [i.e.transmit-receive] module. This makes it possible to achieve very high performance."

The NEBO SVU is an important technological milestone for the Russians and will become a hot seller in this region.

APA welcomes any feedback or comments which domain experts in the Defence organisation might be happy to provide.


Dr Carlo Kopp


Dr Carlo Kopp, MIEEE, SMAIAA, PEng
Defence Analyst and Consulting Engineer
Editor: Air Power Australia @ http://www.ausairpower.net