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Phazotron AESA radar

overscan (PaulMM)

Staff member
Dec 27, 2005
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AFAR on the fighter - new stage in the development of aviation radar.

Yuri Gus'kov - the assistant of general director, the assistant of the design project leader OF OAO corporation "Phazotron-NIIR" Nikolai zhiburtovich - main scientific worker.

Corporation "Phazotron-NIIR" more than 50 years is occupied by development and production of airborne radar of aircraft. During this period were created and transmitted into the operation more than two ten radars, which were exploited and are exploited on the aircraft MiG-17, MiG-19, MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-29, it is real, Su-11, Su-15, Su-27, Yak-25, Yak-28, Yak-141, Tu-128. Many aircraft- veterans already changed radars on several times. Onboard radar systems (BRLS) of the "Phazotron" always answered and satisfy the highest requirements and successfully they compete with the foreign analogs.

The successful activity of corporation became possible because of the creation of the talented association of chief designers, scientific, technical-engineering workers. Their efforts/forces created the school of "Phazotron", is provided for the equipment of enterprise with highly technological equipment, are inculcated united technologies, unification and modular construction/design of articles, which makes it possible to attain the mobility of production.

This is explained also by the fact that the specialists of "Phazotron", studying the world trends of development BRLS, begin works on their design/projection before obtaining of official technical task from the concrete/specific customer. The creation of the anticipating/leading scientific and technical reserve, which will be claimed in the future, is our basic rule during the development of radar systems.

At present, when all firms, which produce radars for the fighters, deal with the development of the impulse phased antenna cascades (AFAR), we cannot stand in the side, since we must support its scientific and technical potential at the high level. For this very reason, resting only on the internal financial means, "Phazotron" was included in the full-scale development of radar with the impulse phased cascade. In the materials, published in this production of the journal "Phazotron", the group of the authors of corporation headed by Director-General and design project leader "Phazotron-NIIR" presents its, "Phazotronic", the vision of the fulfillment of works on creation BRLS AFAR.

In 90- X the years of the past century the developers of onboard radars of fighters began to encounter the need for the significant improvement of radar systems as one of the most effective means of detection and observation of the aerial targets. In this connection in onboard radars the phased antenna arrays began to take root (HEADLIGHTS). However, their development showed that the replacement of antenna with slot antenna lattice/grid by the passive OF HEADLIGHTS increases energy losses in the high-frequency part RLS several times. For retaining/maintaining the tactical characteristics RLS it was necessary to compensate these losses by an increase in the output power of transmitter, which entailed a gain in weight, volume and required power. All this hampered the operation of such radars on the light fighters. Therefore one of the rational solutions was passage to the use in BRLS of the impulse phased antenna cascades.

However, in our Russia there was a scientific and technical reserve on RLS of traditional technology, including from THE HEADLIGHTS was also a capacious market for works on modernization such RLS taking into account that the modernization and development RLS of the already existing technology were not connected/bonded with that complexity and degree of risk, by which is characterized the work on creation and introduction RLS AFAR, passage from RLS of traditional technology to RLS AFAR proved to be difficult. Therefore it is not surprising that many firms both and abroad, the workers in the area of radar technology, understanding the inevitability of the mastery/adoption of new technologies RLS, nevertheless persistently propose the development programs and modernization RLS for the traditional technology, but not the program of creation RLS AFAR. According to the estimation/evaluation of specialists Texas Instruments, the extinction of the existing technology RLS is unavoidable, but this process will be prolonged.

Without discussing further other technologies of the creation of radars, let us examine the way, passed by "synchro-cyclotron" on the development RLS AFAR.

1. Radar AFAR as the problem of the creation

1.1. Merits AFAR

Application AFAR in BRLS and in the radio-electronic complexes (REK) of fighter has a number of advantages. They are widely known, but without their enumeration it will not be clear, what requirements are imposed on elements BRLS AFAR.

Let us briefly enumerate these merits:

• possibility of designing on basis AFAR fundamentally new integrated REK, which ensure multifunctional work and adaptation to the rapidly changing conditions of complex pomekhotselevoy situation;

• high potential reliability AFAR, that makes it possible to create radars with the period of service, commensurate with the period of the service of fighter;

• operational simplicity;

• work in the more broadband;

• the gain in processing of signal, which makes it possible, for example, to considerably increase radar range.

1.2. Deficiencies AFAR

Let us isolate basic from them:

• the need for the new high(ly)d-integrate element base;

• the complexity of constructing the antenna system;

• the absence of metrological and operational guarantee.

1.3. Strategy of development AFAR

1.3.1. Approaching studies on the problem "radar AFAR", we clear realized that such RLS relate to the complex systems with the high level of technical risk and require high expenditures. For example, in THE USA for the production AFAR were spent billions of dollars. "synchro-cyclotron" understood, that AFAR in Russia of such resources/lifetimes will not chosen be in the stage of creation, and was performed initiative-taking work on its own means. Our Phazotron concept of the creation of radar AFAR briefly can be formulated thus: creation BRLS AFAR for the fighter with the minimum risk with the minimum cost.

The basis of general/common strategy of development AFAR compose the following positions:

• systems approach to the creation of radar on the united technological cycle;

• gradualness (succession) in the development of blocks and algorithmic guarantee with the retention/maintaining of the possibility of development RLS;

• the concentration of the available resources/lifetimes in the key directions of development;

• a maximally possible use of the existing scientific and technical reserve on the traditional technologies RLS;

• the wide application of the standardized technological methods and technical solutions.

Systematization during the development of radar indicates, in the essence, the thorough consideration of the design solutions taking into account the special features of production, maintenance/servicing and functioning BRLS in all stages of life cycle. For example, during the design/projection of multifunctional RLS occurs the mutual coordination ("provyazka") of the algorithms of the solution of the large number of diverse functional tasks in the composition of united entire - the complex of onboard equipment fighter. Specifically, this systems approach is one of the most important conditions of the high competitive ability of the production of "Phazotron".

For finalizing of basic questions of the creation of radar AFAR as the the test of platform- carrier BRLS was selected regular fighter MiG-29.

The problem of creation RLS AFAR was developed/processed from the positions of the fact that precisely AFAR is the narrowest (from the point of view of risk and cost/value) element of the constructed radar. As base BRLS was undertaken the radar of family "beetle", well developed by our corporation.

As the key directions the developments AFAR were determined:

• the design/projection of the radiating fabric/bed of antenna and its elements;

• the development of the receiving-transmitting moduli/modules (PPM), including their element base and construction/design;

• the development of the systems of control, nourishment and cooling AFAR;

• strictly construction AFAR.

1.3.2. The first step/pitch in the creation AFAR on the "Phazotron" was the development of construction/design AFAR with the laying out AFAR into structural components (stage of draft designing). Structural- assembly diagram AFAR is represented in Fig. 1.

After laying out AFAR into the structural elements began the work on each structural element. General and particular requirements were formulated for each structural element. General requirements were brought to the easy servicing and operation, to simplicity of repair AFAR, created on the nontraditional technology, need for creating BRLS AFAR with the mass, which does not exceed the mass BRLS of traditional technology, whereas all the remaining parameters had to be considerably better.

1.3.3. The analysis of block diagram AFAR showed that the "Phazotron" has industrial-technological potential, capable of developing and of preparing all structural elements AFAR with exception of the receiving-transmitting modulus/module.

To theoretically create PPM is possible, but the superimposed on it stringent construction-engineering requirements showed that to create FOR PPM with the required characteristics it can only the enterprise of electronics industry, equipped with contemporary equipment and which possesses the industrial sub-micron technology of the production of the monolithic integrated circuits (MIS), intended for the work in the 3-centimeter wavelength range. Specifically, proceeding these their requirements, during the creation AFAR for the production PPM and MIS "Phazotron" selected two enterprises into Tomsk: Scientific and industrial firm "Mikran" (NPF Of "mikran") and the scientific research institute of semiconductor devices (NIIPP). After conducting this draft designing on the creation AFAR and to its finalizing, it would be possible to pass AFAR for the concrete/specific carrier to the industrial design/projection.

2. Development Of elements AFAR

In this division is brought the information on the development of structural elements AFAR and to the search works, which precede development.

2.1. Selection of the radiating fabric/bed of the antenna

It is well known that the radiating fabric/bed is one of the most important elements of any antenna. For the antenna with electronic control of ray/beam the design of the radiating fabric/bed of antenna and the calculation of the arrangement of the radiating elements on the aperture impose requirements for all other elements, arranged/located after the radiating elements. Therefore for the detailed study of this question was developed multifunctional mathematical model AFAR, that makes it possible to evaluate and to analyze the parameters of the projected/designed antenna system in all stages of united technological cycle.

Basic requirements for the radiating fabric/bed of antenna with its assigned diameter are:

• the maximum angle of deflection of the ray/beam of antenna without the appearance of diffraction (parasitic) side lobes;

• the maximum use factor;

• maximum amplification factor;

• the broad band of the radiated frequencies.

In the process of the selection of distributing the emitters on the aperture of antenna it was examined:

• equidistant: rectangular and hexagonal (regular distribution);

• nonequidistant (irregular distribution).

Large material on the simulation of the diverse variants of the distribution of emitters showed:

• nonequidistant distribution (on which on the "synchro-cyclotron" is accumulated large experience of design/projection) in this stage cannot be used because of the non-optimal at present system of the removal of the heat and of the more stringent (small) design specifications for PPM;

• from the equidistant methods of the arrangement of emitters on the aperture of antenna after the interpretation of results of simulation is selected the equidistant hexagonal distribution of emitters.

The selection of the distances between the element emitters engaged sufficiently much time. However, this selection ensured the absence of diffraction (parasitic) side lobes in the assigned (±"0°) angle of deflection of the ray/beam of antenna.

Are examined the algorithms of control of amplitude-phase distribution according to elements AFAR for the realization of the basic modes of operation BRLS. they are given the results of evaluating the work of algorithms on mathematical model and the results of finalizing algorithms in the real samples of the passive OF HEADLIGHTS, that confirm their complete fitness for control AFAR.

2.2. Selection of the rational radiating elements of the aperture of antenna (AFAR)

The examination of type and construction/design of the radiating element of the aperture of antenna engaged much time.

The diverse variants of the emitters were examined:

* the open standard waveguide (it cannot be used because of its large sizes/dimensions for the assigned frequency band);

* the antenna Of vival'di: this version is most interesting and ensures large frequency band, but for the creation AFAR toward the end of 2006 proved to be insufficiently it was investigated, and work according to this type of emitters continues (stand for finalizing of the emitter Of vival'di it is presented on photo 2);

* the open nonstandard waveguide (square or circular), which ensures the specified distribution of emitters on the aperture, is used with the dielectric insert, which ensures the coefficient of band coverage 2-2,5 (ratio of maximum extreme frequency to the minimum extreme frequency).

2.3. Receiving-transmitting modulus/module AFAR

One of the basic elements AFAR is the receiving-transmitting modulus/module, its characteristics as structural/design sizes/dimensions, they are determined by its integration into AFAR and they cannot be created separately, i.e., separately from that created AFAR. Specifically, from this position are formulated the requirements for PPM given below.

Basic requirements for PPM AFAR:

• the formation of the assigned level of power in the transmitting channel;

• control of the required amplitude-phase characteristics strengthened in transmitting signal channel;

• the reception of the SHF- signals of the required sensitivity with the passive and controlled protection of the low-noise amplifier of receiving channel;

• control of the required amplitude-phase characteristics (AFKH) of receiving signal;

• synchronous switching at entrance and output/yield of receiving and transmitting channels;

• control of the required amplitude-phase assigned characteristics during scanning of ray/beam, the installation of initial AFKH of channels, the levelling off AFKH PPM;

• the internal distribution system of the moduli/modules of second nourishment; control of the state PPM.

Corporation "Phazotron-NIIR" and NPF "Mikran" determined the order of development PPM and of its elements, which includes the following basic stages:

• development and production MIS;

• development and construction PPM;

• the development of the measured complexes and procedures of the measurement of characteristics PPM.

In accordance with the requirements for PPM in NPF "Mikran" is carried out the work on the creation PPM, the production MIS and the technology of their production. During the first stage of work questions of the construction of single-channel PPM were mastered (Fig. 3-7). For measuring the parameters PPM was created the special measuring stand, whose block diagram and common form were given in Fig. 7a, 76. The graphic idea of the results of measurements is shown in Fig. 7v.

2.3.1. Element base PPM AFAR

After modeling PPM the requirements for all used for the development elements were formulated. All elements PPM were prepared in Tomsk in NPF "Mikran" and NIIPP.

2.3.2. Construction/design PPM

_ construction PPM can be diverse and determine arrangement phase center element emitter on aperture antenna, quantity element, arranged inside PPM, diagram control PPM and cooling system oxlajdeni4.

After the production of first single PPM and refinement of construction/design was accepted the solution about the production of 4- channel (group) PPM, which made it possible to place all elements PPM and to create the internal group computing system for control PPM.

Construction/design PPM provides for the ease of the removal/distance of defective PPM and the installation of other, proper PPM.

During the development PPM are taken into account the tasks of the removal of the heat, minimization of tokopotrebleniya, minimization of the mass-and-size parameters PPM, joining/coupling of the exchange of data of control and diagnostics with the central processor. For the purpose of the minimization of the mass-and-size parameters in the construction/design PPM are used the contemporary technological processes of shaping of the multichannel close-packed multilayer SHF- moduli/modules with the combination of ceramic, silicic and organic materials (MccM-.D- technology).

In construction/design PPM is possible the application both foreign MIS (complete set OF SHF MIS for the radar of firm MaSot) and domestic MIS in proportion to the mastery/adoption of their mass production. Is developed ground-based complex for checking the parameters (NKPP) OF PPM AFAR, built on the base of pulse complex plane analyzer of chains/circuits SHF block diagram of this complex is represented in Fig. 9. NKPP is intended for measuring the following parameters of group PPM for different forms of radar signals in the assigned frequency bands and temperatures:

• complex gear ratios/transmission factors in the modes of reception and transfer;

• noise factor in the regime/conditions of receiver;

• maximum output linear power in the regime/conditions of transfer (output power on the compression of amplification factor on 1 dB);

3. High-frequency system washing PPM is produced through the radial waveguide, successfully used by the developers of "synchro-cyclotron" on the passive phased lattices/grids (antennas with electronic control of ray/beam and nonequidistant arrangement of emitters).

4. Are examined the problems of tuning basic knots AFAR, the methods of the measurements of amplitude-phase distribution on the aperture of lattice/grid. Are substantiated the procedures of the record of radiation patterns AFAR, that make it possible to completely exclude the application of the complex and expensive equipment (precision supporting- rotary device/equipment, collimator) and to carry out the records of radiation patterns by the easiest method in the compact anechoic chamber of minimal sizes.

5. Control system AFAR solves two groups of the functional tasks: coordinated interaction of separate elements AFAR in the composition of entire BRLS and the guarantee (together with the central processor) of integration AFAR with onboard equipment. The technical solutions, used for the design of control system AFAR, were approved in the appropriate developments of the computational means of "synchro-cyclotron".

6. Control PPM and application of voltage of nourishment are produced through the joint, located in the end part PPM of low-frequency distribution system AFAR.

7. The diagram of nourishment PPM is the distributed power-supply system, which uses converters and high-frequency sources of second power.

8. Cooling system provides for the circulation of the cooling fluid through the cold beds, with which PPM have a contact. For studying the complex processes of heat exchange was developed tsifronaturnaya model. In this case the thermal conditions were calculated with the aid of the computers, and as reference points for the calculations served the data, obtained in the course of full-scale investigations in the thermal mock-up AFAR.

9. The initially prepared structural mock-up showed that the construction/design must be facilitated: mass AFAR the diameter of 700 mm proved to be about 400 kg. after the analysis of this construction/design was executed the second construction, which made it possible to form the following appearance BRLS AFAR (Fig. 10).

It follows to consider as the basic results of this stage of construction:

• the decrease of mass BRLS to 220-240 kg;

• the decrease of a quantity PPM;

• the decrease of consumption from the sources of primary power to 5-6 kW due to a change in the regime BRLS;

• confirmation of the ability of the system of liquid cooling to remove to heat- from AFAR on the basis of the carried out analysis SZHO, which exists on the aircraft MiG-29.

The investigations conducted by us showed also that the passage in the radars of fighters from the traditional technology to AFAR makes it possible to most fully open the main quality of such BRLS - polyfunctionality- multimode character. In this case the effectiveness of functioning RLS in the traditional regimes considerably rises:

• approximately 2 time rises the target detection range;

• the number of serviced aerial targets with the maintaining of the survey of space increases to 60;

• the resolution of radar map rises to 1x1m;

• appears the possibility to realize and the new regimes/conditions (inverse synthesizing of ground-based objects, integration with other onboard systems of electronic reconnaissance, radio-electronic opposition, information input of group actions of aircraft, multiple-beam regime/conditions, which ensures simultaneous functioning RLS on the air and nazemnym/nadvodnym targets).

Production BRLS AFAR according to the second version of construction will be completed to 3- GO of block of 2006, and in pits block it is planned to install it to the aircraft MiG-29.

Is at present developed the complete set of the design documentation of the first experimental sample BRLS AFAR, in which previously the named principles are used:

• the open architecture BRLS with the possibility of both the adaptation under the specific carrier and of the modernization by replacing the separate blocks to the more contemporary or introduction into the structure of the new functional blocks, which expand tactical-technical possibilities;

• the built-in system of control, which ensures localization of malfunction with an accuracy to the plug-in package (knot);

• the accessibility of all blocks for the operational replacement in the process of operation;

• the possibility of the individual replacement of any PPM from the aperture AFAR directly aboard (without the dismantling of station for the repair);

• the principle of the functional separation of station into the modules, which ensures the possibility of tuning and of checking of separate functional modules and blocks before the installation and the sequential testing of the fragments of station in all stages of installation;

• the principle of the joint design concept of functional subassemblies AFAR with the systems of the guarantee of a fitness for work (cooling system).

• the mass-and-size parameters of basic building block AFAR:

- structural/design diameter - 600 mm;

- depth - is 300 mm;

- mass -105 kg.

In conclusion it would be desirable to express confidence in the fact that will succeed in carrying out these plans. Problems with financing of project in the size/dimension of 15-20 million dollars OF THE USA are thus far only obstacle on the way of their fulfillment.

Are further in the various articles represented the results of the work of the leading specialists of "synchro-cyclotron" in the development of the separate directions of the problem of creation BRLS AFAR.

The journal "synchro-cyclotron" 1-2 (4) - 2006.


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Jan 3, 2006
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This seems to be a very serious and interesting article... Except for the over-optimistic stated goal of having an AESA by the "end of 2006," ??? - it otherwise sounds like a lot more practical and believeable analysis than most other Russian defense industry publications. (I note with pleasure the choice of MiG-29 over Su-27/35/XX as a development testbed - a minor point, but another small sign that somebody is actually serious about making progress, rather than just staying in business.) Until reading this, I wouldn't have taken seriously any suggestions of Russian AESA development.

Where did this article come from? Is "synchro-cyclotron" a competing company to Phazotron-NIIR, an independent journal, or a private Phazotron-NIIR company journal? It seems odd than an article like this would have found its way to the public.

Also, do you have "photo 2" from section 2.2, of the "vival'di" transmitting elements? This sounds interesting but mistranslated; I'm trying to guess what they could be.


overscan (PaulMM)

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Dec 27, 2005
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"Syncro-cyclotron" is what the machine translation makes of "Phazotron". I didn't edit the document so well before posting it.

The article was posted in text only, so I can't find you the picture, but I can post the original Russian.


overscan (PaulMM)

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Dec 27, 2005
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Phazotron are flight testing the passive phased array Zhuk-MFE on a MiG-29 as part of work towards the AESA Zhuk-MAE.

http://www.rosprom.gov.ru/news.php?id=2682&fcat=0 (26.10.2006)


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Dec 29, 2005
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Zhuk-MAE radar prototypes gear up for first flight

Phazotron-NIIR in Moscow is completing assembly of two prototypes of the Zhuk-MAE active electronically scanned AESA radar, destined for the MiG-35 fighters being tendered by Russia for India's Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA) requirement for 126 fighters. First flight of an aircraft with the experimental Zhuk-MAE radar was required by RSK MiG during the first half of November in order to demonstrate this milestone at the Aero India 2007 exhibition in Bangalore, in February 2007
[Jane's International Defence Review - first posted to http://idr.janes.com - 06 November 2006]


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Dec 29, 2005
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Summary of Piotr Butowski's article on Zhuk-MAE by Summet at BRF:

Pit here are the important pieces from that very informative article by Piotr Butowski:

*Phazotron Offering Indian companies a Significant share in radar production.

*Piotr Butowski says that India plans to use active radar on LCA and to apply active antenna to one of the upgrade stages of BARS radar onboard Su-30MKI.

*Due to limited funds phazotron adopted known solutions for the radar.

*In MAKS 05 antenna had 700 mm diameter, 1088 T/R modules divide into 272 blocks. Antenna reflector was directed 20 degrees upwards since majority of targets are found above. Weight was 450 kgs.

*During redesign radar body was perforated to reduce weight and light magnesium alloy in the structure subsituted.

*After these modifications radar weight reduced to 300 kg and a further weight reduction programmer saw antenna diameter reduced to 600mm with 680 modules [ 170 blocks with 4 modules each]. Antenna got a vertical reflector and power consumption reduced to 5-6 kW due to reduced antenna diameter enabling existing Mig-29 systems to cool it down. However, range decreased from 200 kms to 130 kms.

*To make radar in time heavier components from Zhuk-ME were used. So new radar Zhuk-MAE is a hybrid. One prototype undergoing ground test and other for Mig-35 prototype.

*X-Band radar with search range of 130 kms for fighter aircraft. Manufacturer claims that through careful selections of the range between radiating elements deflection of the antenna beam to +/- 70 degrees was achieved without parasite lobes.

*Tracks up to 30 targest and engages 8. Weight in between 220 kg to 240 kg of which antenna is 105 kg.

*Except T/R modules everything is manufactured by Phazotron.

*Current design is not definitive, and depends on the operational plans for radar and aircraft. Diameter can be made 700 mm again and if other components are simultaneously upgraded, its possible to have a weight below 280 kgs and still maintain 200 kms range.

*Next design phase will see return to 20 degrees look up antenna as was shown earlier. This will broaden scanning zone by 20 degrees in azimuth when banking the aircraft.

*Increase in T/R modules per block is planned but lack of processing capacity in control system and limitation of modules have held this back.

*Further development may result in integration of vivaldi tapered-slot antenna [as in AN/APG-79 or Thales RBE-2A AESA for Rafale] offering a wide range of operational frequencies.

Stealth Spy

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Feb 13, 2006
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Here is a scan of a Phazotron magazine obtained at Aero India '07.


Plenty of light has been thrown on the Zhuk-AE and its development .... other interesting topics are included as well.

A display databoard of the very radar :


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May 18, 2006
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Stealth when you post something its usually regarded as good form to give credit where its due.

The mag was scanned and uploaded by Rakall @ Bharat-rakshak


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Mar 7, 2007
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This is my first time post here.I'm interested in radars especially on Russian airborne radar.
Does somebody has any info on this Russian APAR radar:

It was first time shown on MAKS'01.

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