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S400 Triumph Long Range/SA-21 GROWLER TABM/SAM

Woody

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Though there's a lot of talk about this system on the internet I thought it was worth starting a thread since it may represent the most significant factor in in near future combat aircraft design and tactics and little is available on the actual mechanical characteristics of the missiles themselves. If the claims about this system are true: range, altitude, ability to engage stealthy vehicles, it would render obsolete many of todays combat aircraft as it could easily be fielded by unsophisticated nations.

From an Australian perspective the deployment of S-300V family of missiles in Asia is of major concern. Rapidly deployable, high survivable, and highly lethal, these weapons are especially difficult to counter and require significant capabilities to robustly defeat. The US Air Force currently envisages the F-22A Raptor as the primary weapon used to defeat these capable systems.

It is important to note that no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems. The survivability of these aircraft will not be significantly better than that of legacy combat aircraft.

range in 1995.
The Almaz S-400 Triumf or SA-20 system is the subsequent evolution of the S-300PMU-2, trialled in 1999. The label S-400 is essentially marketing, since the system was previously reported under the speculative label of S-300PMU-3.

http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Giant-Gladiator.html

Has anyone any better information/ pictures on how the actual missiles work eg. how they steer and maneuver.

Cheers, Woody

(Quotes and pictures from Air Power Australia Website and already in the public domain.)
 

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SOC

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Check out my blog, some of the older articles deal with the S-300P SAM system and the S-400. I'm working on a substantial update to one of the articles to provide a lot more detail on the S-300P and S-400 families.
 

Woody

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Thanks SOC. You might find this news clip interesting:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OMhI1MEgs8&feature=related
 

starviking

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That page is written by Dr Carlo Kopp, he who wants the RAAF to have a future F-22/F-111 combat force - tanked by KC-747s no less.

The US Air Force currently envisages the F-22A Raptor as the primary weapon used to defeat these capable systems.

It is important to note that no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems.

Note that he says the the F/A-18 and F-35 weren't designed to penetrate the S-300V/VM envelope - but presumably the F-22 wasn't either, being designed in the 80's!

Why does the USAF envisage the F-22 as the counter to these systems? Because they want more F-22s, as does Dr Kopp.

Take what he writes with a heavy pinch of salt.

Starviking


P.s. Does anyone know when the S-300V/VMs were designed?
 

sferrin

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S-300 and S-300V (SA-10 and SA-12) were out well before the ATF program started.
 

Woody

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Why does the USAF envisage the F-22 as the counter to these systems? Because they want more F-22s, as does Dr Kopp.

Take what he writes with a heavy pinch of salt.

I agree Starviking but that wasn't the point I was trying to make. Rather that an aggressor would be forced to risk it's most expensive assetts to attack the S-400. Since the Russians claim that they can shoot down stealthy aircraft, even the amazing F-22 could be at risk! Quite a different situation from any conflict modern airpower had to face so far.

And Sferrin, the point was that the S-400 system is supposed to be a considerable improvement on the S-300. Is this not case? And the S-500 system is touted to be on the way.

Cheers, Woody
 

SOC

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The S-300P and S-300V began development in the mid 1970's.

Ignore Carlo Kopp.

The S-500 as currently envisaged will be more of an ATBM/light ABM than a SAM system.

The S-400 is an improvement over the S-300P, but insofar as low RCS aircraft are concerned, it should be noted that the S-300PM-1/2 (SA-20 GARGOYLE) were greatly improved over the S-300PT/PS/PM (SA-10 GRUMBLE) in terms of engagement radar and missile systems.
 

Woody

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The 9M96E2 missiles is based on all-new components, use new high-energy solid fuel and an advanced guidance and control system which has made it possible to minimize their size. The 9M96E2 missile can intercept all types of aircraft, including tactical ballistic and medium-range theater missiles flying at altitudes from 5 meters to 30 kilometers. Their exceptionally high accuracy is ensured by the missile's main secret, the so-called transverse control engine, which rules out misses during the final approach trajectory. The transverse control engine is still without parallel in the world.

Does anyone know how this works?

The "big" missile [40N6 Long-Range Missile] is intended to have a range of up to 400 km and will be able to engage over-the-horizon [OTH] targets using a new seeker head developed by Almaz Central Design Bureau. This seeker can operate in both a semiactive and active mode, with the seeker switched to a search mode on ground command and homing on targets independently. Targets for this missile include airborne early warning and control aircraft as well as jammers.

Has anyone got any diagrams or pictures of this missile?

Cheers, Woody

Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/s-400.htm
 

Rickshaw

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I wouldn't ignore Carlo Kopp, if I was you. I've known him now for about 15 years. He is a very smart man. Perhaps too smart for his own good. I do know he's pissed off a lot of people in the Australian DoD and RAAF with his well thought out and intelligent analysis of airpower matters.
 

starviking

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rickshaw said:
I wouldn't ignore Carlo Kopp, if I was you. I've known him now for about 15 years. He is a very smart man. Perhaps too smart for his own good. I do know he's pissed off a lot of people in the Australian DoD and RAAF with his well thought out and intelligent analysis of airpower matters.

That may be the case, but in the article in question he implies a capability for the F-22 which it doesn't have - and uses this to rubbish the F/A-18 and JSF. His love of the F-22 seems to have drawn him into using tortured logic to arrive at the answer he wants.

Starviking
 

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What is he saying it can do that it can't? (Read the article sometime ago and nothing stood out as a red flag really.)
 

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S-400 Triumph (NATO : SA-21A Growler) launcher

S-400 Triumph (NATO : SA-21A Growler) launcher

Source :
http://militaryvideo.ru
http://pilot.stritzi.info
etc.
 

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S-400 Triumph (NATO : SA-21A Growler)

S-400 Triumph (NATO : SA-21A Growler)

Source :
http://www.mil.ru
http://pilot.stritzi.info
etc.
 

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starviking

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sferrin said:
What is he saying it can do that it can't? (Read the article sometime ago and nothing stood out as a red flag really.)

He is implying the F/A-22 was designed to penetrate the S300V/VM envelope.

Here's what Dr Kopp wrote:

From an Australian perspective the deployment of S-300V family of missiles in Asia is of major concern. Rapidly deployable, high survivable, and highly lethal, these weapons are especially difficult to counter and require significant capabilities to robustly defeat. The US Air Force currently envisages the F-22A Raptor as the primary weapon used to defeat these capable systems.

It is important to note that no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems. The survivability of these aircraft will not be significantly better than that of legacy combat aircraft.


Some things are noticeable -

* Dr Kopp states that the JSF and the F/A-18 were not designed to penetrate the S-300V/VM envelope. But if being designed to penetrate that system's envelope is so important that any aircraft considered for use must be designed to pentrate it - why doesn't he just say "The F-22A is designed to penetrate the S300V/VM envelope"? Perhaps because he can't, and thus twists the truth a bit instead?

* Use of language is also important: what does "no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems" actually mean?

Simply put it means the aircraft were not built with a primary goal to penetrate areas defended by the S300V/VM. It does not mean they can't penetrate such areas.

* He finishes off by stating: "The survivability of these aircraft will not be significantly better than that of legacy combat aircraft." Well, seeing how the JSF is designed as a stealthy 'first strike' aircraft, how will a non-updated F-22A do if it tries to penetrate an S-300V/VM area? I'd prefer to be in a JSF myself!

Dr Kopp appears to be willing to twist facts and grammar to imply things that are demonstrably not so.

Starviking
 

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The F-22A has a smaller RCS than the JSF will have.
 

starviking

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sferrin said:
The F-22A has a smaller RCS than the JSF will have.

So I've heard. I've also heard that the JSF's stealth is focused on the forward quarter. Anyone got a good link that goes into specifics?

If we want to undertake a high/medium overflight of a S300V/VM system - then F-22A is the way to go.

If we want to take it out, my money would be on the JSF, unless someone shells out a lot of cash for an attack optimised F-22.

Starviking
 

sferrin

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starviking said:
sferrin said:
The F-22A has a smaller RCS than the JSF will have.

So I've heard. I've also heard that the JSF's stealth is focused on the forward quarter. Anyone got a good link that goes into specifics?

If we want to undertake a high/medium overflight of a S300V/VM system - then F-22A is the way to go.

If we want to take it out, my money would be on the JSF, unless someone shells out a lot of cash for an attack optimised F-22.

Starviking

Not likely to find any real numbers published however the ones published suggest the F-22's is another order of magnitude smaller than the F-35's and it's all aspect. BTW the F-22 can toss 8 SDBs about 60 nautical miles so I wouldn't completely discount it in the surface attack mode. (Granted it may be a while before the ability is in the fleet). And it was designed with the S-300/-300V in mind. It's primary purpose was to operate in Soviet territory raising hell behind the front line of the battle.
 
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the introduction of an airborne bi-static system coupled with ground based triple digit sam radar may alter this scenario.
 

AeroFranz

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BTW the F-22 can toss 8 SDBs about 60 nautical miles so I wouldn't completely discount it in the surface attack mode. (Granted it may be a while before the ability is in the fleet). And it was designed with the S-300/-300V in mind. It's primary purpose was to operate in Soviet territory raising hell behind the front line of the battle.
[/quote]

Umm... i can't say for sure, but as much as I like SDBs, if they are gliding for 60 miles, and are visible on the radar scope (radar is touted as able to pick up even stealthy cruise missiles), the S-300 operator will have time to smoke a cigarette, play a game of chess, and then shoot the SDBs down.
F-22 needs standoff ramjet ARM to have a chance.
 

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I've included soem data regarding the S-400's 400 kilometer engagement zone in here:

http://geimint.blogspot.com/2008/07/s-300p-detailed-analysis.html
 

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Does this imply in any way that Duncan Sandys was right... fifty years too early? (At least where attack aircraft are concerned.)

Or will we see a proliferation of point-defence missile systems carried by aircraft and/or a fresh battle between the seeker-head designers and the ECM/chaff Black Magicians? Ultimately the only unjammable missiles are wire-guided or ballistic (i.e. guns, or possibly salvoed rockets in the intercept role).

IMO the reductio ad absurdum (and I admit that it is one) is a sky so full of electronic 'noise' that nothing modern will fly, and it will be time to dust off the blueprints for Spitfires again, if not Sopwith Snipes... That, or monstrous flying battleships a la Wells' "Things to Come", with enough armament on board to shoot down enemy SAMs and AAMs (e.g. ARMs, anti-missile missiles based on 2.75" RP or Stinger derivatives, small CIWS guns, ? lasers) and basically try to bully their way past the defences (hopefully without going nuclear).

(OTT It's no surprise that with delivery dates for the F-35 slipping, some elements in Australian defence circles want the F-22. Us being an island nation, if we're going to take the JSF, I'd rather we bought the VTOL version and built some Liberty ship-style escort carriers.)
 

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pathology_doc said:
Does this imply in any way that Duncan Sandys was right... fifty years too early? (At least where attack aircraft are concerned.)


It still has to be able to SEE the target to hit it. ;)
 

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".. the S-300 operator will have time to smoke a cigarette, play a game of chess, and then shoot the SDBs down. "

What's the cost of a modern SAM and what's of a SDB ? It may be logical to launch SBDs, just to
force the enemy to fire his costly SAMs. And thinking further : Why waste real SBDs ? Something,
that just LOOKS like one on the radar screen would be enough !
What's the cost/benefit ratio of a wasted SAM to potential damage to a target ? As SAMs are becoming
better and better, maybe we'll see something like the Quail again in the future.
 

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Jemiba said:
It may be logical to launch SBDs, just to force the enemy to fire his costly SAMs.

This is why you develop SAMs with very large kill envelopes. They can detect, fire at, and destroy aircraft well before they'd be able to get within SDB launch range to begin with.
 

Jemiba

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Quail had a range of about 400 km. And with the current status of electronics,
it should be possible to fit much more into a smaller airframe, than during the '60s.
AFAIK, at least the IAF had, or has decoys in its inventory to be launched from
attacking aircraft. So, maybe this idea isn't dead.
 

sferrin

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SOC said:
Jemiba said:
It may be logical to launch SBDs, just to force the enemy to fire his costly SAMs.

This is why you develop SAMs with very large kill envelopes. They can detect, fire at, and destroy aircraft well before they'd be able to get within SDB launch range to begin with.

The next question of course is can the S-400 system detect something like an F-22/F-35/B-2 before it gets inside the SDBs launch range? If an F-22 is traveling at Mach 1.5 and releases the SDB from 60 miles out that means the S-400 is going to have to detect it from even further away as the missile has to reach the aircraft BEFORE it releases the SDB(s). Can it?
 

sferrin

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Jemiba said:
Quail had a range of about 400 km. And with the current status of electronics,
it should be possible to fit much more into a smaller airframe, than during the '60s.
AFAIK, at least the IAF had, or has decoys in its inventory to be launched from
attacking aircraft. So, maybe this idea isn't dead.

Personally I think the best way to deal with those types of SAMs is to use something like a 400 mile range air-launched ballistic missile that let's loose a truckload of GPS guided submunitions on it's way UP. The F-15E, F-22, and F-35 all have 5000lb rated pylons and you could also launch it from a B-2 or B-1B. Then the only thing that's ever in range of the S-400 are swarms of relatively cheap submunitions that if not taken out will hit things like launchers, radars, etc. Even an internally-carried ramjet powered ARM launched from an F-22 (assuming they had one) would be iffy at best due to things like the S-400's "small missiles" and TOR-M that could just hit the ARM. A 5000lb missile with a payload of say 50 20lb guided submunitions would do nicely. Or a 1000lb penetrator for other targets or what have you. Could be very versitile. I wouldn't waste it on an air-breather because you want to lob the submunitions not have to fly to the target and drop them (like JASSM and JSOW). As long as the flight time of the carrier vehicle was shorter than the minimum time for them to pack up the site and start moving they'd be pretty much screwed I'd think. 20lbs is probably big enough they could even have a backup seeker of some sort on the submunitions to deal with the even of GPS jamming.
 

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Can't tell how far away an S-400 could see a Raptor without knowing the RCS of the F-22A. But you do have to remember that there will be other systems around like Tor to provide close-in defense as well, systems that are also able to intercept PGMs and ARMs. So dropping an SDB on an S-400 site may or may not result in it having to fire to knock out the weapon. The ALBM idea is interesting but may or may not be a good idea. For one it'll blow up the Raptor's RCS if carried. Also, at what range does it let loose the munitions? Will it be within the system's anti-missile range before that point?
 

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SOC said:
Can't tell how far away an S-400 could see a Raptor without knowing the RCS of the F-22A. But you do have to remember that there will be other systems around like Tor to provide close-in defense as well, systems that are also able to intercept PGMs and ARMs. So dropping an SDB on an S-400 site may or may not result in it having to fire to knock out the weapon. The ALBM idea is interesting but may or may not be a good idea. For one it'll blow up the Raptor's RCS if carried.

True, but once they're launched it's back to normal. And you could just use it on any other aircraft that's cleared for a 5000lb weapon.

SOC said:
Also, at what range does it let loose the munitions? Will it be within the system's anti-missile range before that point?

I'd think they'd want to be able to fly at least two profiles. The first a max range profile for the 400-mile range and lofts higher, the second more of a straight in shot for less flight time (at the price of less range). In either case you'd want to release the munitions far enough away that the S-400 couldn't just hit the carrier vehicle. Obviously I don't know all the specifics with JASSM but I'm skeptical that it would be able to get close enough to deliver it's munitions on an S-400 battery. And it's not exactly fast either. And yeah, you'd have to figure out the details (like how to keep the pointy end forward when the submunition is in space effectively for a bit) but I don't think there don't appear to be any obvious show-stoppers. Well other than $$$$$ ;D
 

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Any other aircraft cleared for a 5,000 pound weapon of this type is probably carrying it externally. Which means not the B-2, which means that they're meat for the entire A/D network, not just the targeted S-400 site!
 

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SOC said:
Any other aircraft cleared for a 5,000 pound weapon of this type is probably carrying it externally. Which means not the B-2, which means that they're meat for the entire A/D network, not just the targeted S-400 site!

How do you figure? They could be launching from back where the AWACs are under full fighter cover and in the case of the F-22 and F-35 once they've launched their signitures are small again.
 

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I am pretty sure that the S-400 is giving people in the Air Force nightmares. I am also pretty sure that the days of AWACS and JSTARS placidly loitering less than 100 nmi from the forward line of the battlefield are over. At the same time, it's the old game of shield vs. sword. The sword people will find more effective ways of using their tools. Speaking of which, why are we approaching this problem with the Vietnam-era Wild Weasel tactics, in a single plane vs single SAM site scenario?
There are many things the attackers have on their side. Someone mentioned decoys. Raytheon has won the MALD competition, so decoys and stand-in expendable jammers are available. The air force might eventually get those long awaited stand off B-52 jammers. Throw a pinch of electronic IADS network invasion to taste (although i don't know if that exists for sure). Frontal stealth gets you a little bit closer to the target. High speed ARMs close the distance pretty fast - well, FASTER at least. Toss in some tactics in there: maybe attacking from different azimuths can make life harder on some of the targeting components of the system (planar arrays typically have a 60-90 degrees field of view, the rest is progressively degraded). You have made the job of the SAM operator that much harder.
I am not saying that any of these by itself will work, but the combination of all could prove effective.
I also support what Jemiba, said, namely throw small cheaper weapons at the SAM just to get it to waste missiles. In the long run, like in a campaign similar to Kosovo, you run out of missiles (or money - something o country can compete with the US military). That's not quite as satisfying as blowing up hardware, but it's effective in silencing the site.
 

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AeroFranz said:
I am pretty sure that the S-400 is giving people in the Air Force nightmares. I am also pretty sure that the days of AWACS and JSTARS placidly loitering less than 100 nmi from the forward line of the battlefield are over. At the same time, it's the old game of shield vs. sword. The sword people will find more effective ways of using their tools. Speaking of which, why are we approaching this problem with the Vietnam-era Wild Weasel tactics, in a single plane vs single SAM site scenario?

I know AEW&C people who are not worried about S-400 and other overblown Russian anti-AWACS missiles. For a simple reality that many seem to forget. The fourth dimension, i.e. time. Sure a missile may have a range of 300km but even at Mach 4.0 it still takes five minutes to fly that kind of distance. That’s five minutes for the AWACS to do something about the missile heading towards it. The real range that matters is no-escape range.
 

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It's a Mach 6 missile in the 48N6DM; the 40N6 if it exists as a separate weapon may have a higher velocity. Mach 6 gives you a three minute flight time to max range. The problem is that you may not know that you've been fired upon until the missile enters terminal guidance mode near endgame, and that's only if you happen to be carrying an RWR kit. MWS won't be effective over those ranges; the booster has burnt out well before reaching the target anyway. That'll cut about, say, 75% off of that three minutes, leaving you with no more than 45 seconds or so to do something productive with your massive RCS to disappear, and that's a conservative estimate.

The AEW&C crews you're speaking to should do themselves a favor and stop sleeping through their intel certification training.
 

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SOC said:
It's a Mach 6 missile in the 48N6DM; the 40N6 if it exists as a separate weapon may have a higher velocity. Mach 6 gives you a three minute flight time to max range. The problem is that you may not know that you've been fired upon until the missile enters terminal guidance mode near endgame, and that's only if you happen to be carrying an RWR kit. MWS won't be effective over those ranges; the booster has burnt out well before reaching the target anyway. That'll cut about, say, 75% off of that three minutes, leaving you with no more than 45 seconds or so to do something productive with your massive RCS to disappear, and that's a conservative estimate.

I was thinking the same thing. And then I realized "it's an AWACS, it'll SEE the thing coming".
 

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Will it? Can AWACS see a target the size of a missile at 70 kilometers altitude?
 

sferrin

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SOC said:
Will it? Can AWACS see a target the size of a missile at 70 kilometers altitude?

Good question, but IIRC at least the E-2D is going to be involved in the missile defense equation when it comes to fighting at sea. Also while an E-3 might not be able to see a SAM at 70 kms it'll certainly see it break the horizon on it's way up. I imagine it has more to do with the radar's range and look-up angle than a target's specific altitude. If it's in the "wedge" it'll probably spot it. Also, as always, E-3s won't operate in a vacuum but will be tied into other sensors as well. I don't imagine they'd make a habit of sending a E-3s in range of an S-400 site without being able to tell if it launched at them or not.
 

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Can it spot a 48N6 series missile at 400 kilometers? Because if not, given that the missile is not using radar guidance when fired, how will the E-2 know that its day just got far more interesting?
 

sferrin

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SOC said:
Can it spot a 48N6 series missile at 400 kilometers? Because if not, given that the missile is not using radar guidance when fired, how will the E-2 know that its day just got far more interesting?

The Hawkeye DOES have ESM and will know it's being looked at and likely where the radar is located. Unless it's a widely distributed network it's also going to give him a fair indication of where the danger zone is. And he'll just stay out of it.
 
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