9 February 2015

29B6: Russian FMOP OTH Radar "Kontainer"

Russian Air and Space Defense Forces began deployment of a network of 29B6 over-the-horizon (OTH) radars, code-named "Kontainer" in the early 2013. The Russian 29B6 radar is generally less wide than PLUTO, typically around 14 kHz width.

observed on 19475.0 Khz
bandwidth about 14Khz,
modulation: FMOP (Frequency Modulation On Pulse)
sweep-rate: 50 sps

Both the British PLUTO and the Russian 29B6 most often use the sweeprate of 50 sps .This yields a maximum unambiguous range (since neither radar encodes the sweeps) of 3000 km.  The 29B6 uses FMOP (Frequency Modulation On Pulse) while PLUTO uses FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave): while they sound somewhat similar they are slightly different, with the 29B6 having a slightly “rougher” sound than PLUTO,  moreover Russian 29B6 can be harder to visually or aurally define the edges of, so it could be reportsed with a wider width than it is actually using.

The first one began "experimental-combat" operations in Kovylkino, Mordovia, on 2 December 2013. The radar is reported to have a range of about 3000 km, which allows it to detect aircraft over large part of Europe.
video clip introducing the new 29B6 OTH radar installation:

The Kolkino radar station, using the first modernized 29B6 radar, is able to track aerial targets flying as far aways as Denmark. Earlier the radar had a research role only, and even if full operational capability is expected within 2 years, the new system is already keeping an eye on what flies west of the Russian border. Another 29B6 radar should be installed in the far eastern Russian territories, achieving operational status in 2018.

The radar is made of 150 antenna masts, data transmission systems, transmitters and receivers, power station and control building. The peculiarity of the system is that it is able to detect both high altitude targets, such as ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles), as well as low altitude flying air traffic, at very long distances, well beyond the line of sight.
Based on the Russian claims reported by Defence24.pl, any aircraft with a radar cross section comparable to the one of a Cessna light plane would be detected by the new radar, even if it is flying at low altitude. Even a fighter jet taking-off in the Netherlands could be seen by the new surveillance station!



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