Air Power Australia
New Technical Analysis of Russian Fighter AESAs
19th July 2008
The Zhuk AE developed for the MiG-35 and legacy MiG-29 upgrades is the first Russian Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA [Click for more ...]) antenna equipped radar to be disclosed publicly. The manufacturer, NIIR Phazotron, has released a considerable volume of technical literature detailing the design philosophy and technology employed in this radar.
This paper explores, in radar engineering terms, antenna and transmit receive channel related design features, and the cardinal performance parameters for this radar. While this pre-production radar operates at the lower end of the X-band and has a lower transmit receive channel count than Western radars of similar aperture size, it delivers power-aperture performance superior to all but the very latest Western small aperture fighter radars. The Zhuk AE employs lower density liquid cooled quad channel transmit receive module packaging technology which is comparable to first generation US AESA designs.
A parametric analysis and power aperture modelling is performed on the proposed Zhuk ASE, which is a scaled up version of the Zhuk AE following the model of the Zhuk MSFE built for the Flanker. The Flanker sized Zhuk ASE radar with existing Russian transmit receive module technology will deliver around 60 percent higher raw power aperture performance compared to US APG-79 (F/A-18E/F BII) and APG-81 (JSF) class radars, and if fitted with transistor technology permitting 15 Watts/channel or more, as proposed by NIIR Phazotron, it will outperform the N035 Irbis-E (Su-35BM) and all currently deployed US fighter radars other than the APG-77(V)2 (F-22A Raptor). The earliest feasible IOC for the Zhuk ASE on the Flanker is estimated at 2010.
Dr Carlo Kopp, MIEEE, SMAIAA, PEng
Defence Analyst and Consulting Engineer
Editor: Air Power Australia @ http://www.ausairpower.net