Selected literature on Russias PESA and AESA


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Aug 3, 2009
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While Russian radar developers and manufacturers have failed to keep up with their Western counterparts in terms of introducing new-generation multi-mode AESA radars for both manned combat aircraft and airborne early warning & control platforms, there is still room for optimism if immediate steps are taken to redress the existing shortcomings. One interesting innovation the V Tikhmirov Scientific-Research Institute of Instrument Design has come up with concerns the ‘smart skin’ concept under which an AESA array’s L-band and S-band transmit/receive modules can be placed anywhere on board an AEW & C platform to generate the relevant radiation field required for achieving 360-degree hemispheric coverage of airspace. For countries like India such a technological breakthrough holds enormous promise, as this will now enable one to do away with conventional AESA antenna designs (like the one selected for the DRDO's to-be-developed AEW & C platform) that impose avoidable aerodynamics and structural penalties. To this end, it will be worthwhile to examine the prospect of modifying new-generation platforms like the IL-214 multi-role transport aircraft (MRTA)--being co-developed by India and Russia and to be co-produced in both countries as well--into an AEW & C plaform that would incorporate the 'smart skin' concept by acommodating conformally-mounted dual-band AESA T/R modules.

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