Fifth-generation American stealth fighters F-22 and F-35 can no longer be safe when trying to break through Russian air defenses. This is stated in the publication of The National Interest. All their invisibility disappears when they deal with the Russian S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems.
At the same time, the Americans are also saddened by the fact that Russia is spreading its “all-seeing” systems around the world. There are two reasons for this discontent. First, the competition in the arms market, where in the segment of air defense / missile defense systems the Almaz-Antey concern, the developer and manufacturer of the S-400, is the undisputed leader in product quality. It has even gone so far that Turkey, a NATO member, is buying Russian Triumphs with great enthusiasm.
Secondly, the S-400 is capable of strengthening the defenses of US opponents, towards whom Washington is extremely belligerent. For example, China, which already operates the S-400. You see, it will come to Iran, and even to North Korea.
That is why Washington is making unprecedented efforts to intimidate those who intend to swap American complexes for Russian ones. During a recent trip to India, the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin warned not only New Delhi, but the entire region against rash actions. At the same time, he paid special attention to the S-400: “it is necessary to move away from such intentions and avoid any acquisitions that may cause sanctions on our behalf.”
Austin concretized his soap very lucidly: “We have countries with which we work from time to time, which have Soviet or, excuse me, Russian equipment that they have acquired over the years, and we certainly call on all our allies and partners abandon Soviet or, excuse me, Russian equipment. “
The US Secretary of Defense did not name the “partially unreliable countries” that are members of NATO. It is quite understandable that this is Turkey, which has already purchased four S-400 divisions. And she ordered two more regimental sets of the system. At the same time, Turkish agencies claim that NATO also has countries cooperating with Russia in terms of military purchases. These are Bulgaria, Greece and Slovakia, which operate the S-300 complexes.
In the end, Austin opened up to the fullest, which the US defense secretaries did not allow themselves under the previous presidents who occupied the White House. Sanctions, he said, could be geopolitical or military.
That is, in fact, he began to threaten the use of military force. This was justified by the fact that in conditions of a threat to the well-being of the States from Russia and China, Russian military technologies would spread throughout the world. Washington cannot allow this in any way.
The National Interest is inclined to believe that the Russian claims that the S-400 system can easily detect and track stealth aircraft F-22, F-35 and B-2 are not far from the truth. This opportunity has been achieved due to the fact that Russian radar technology is constantly being improved. The receiving and transmitting antennas of the radar are combined into a single network, between the elements of which a high-speed data communication is established. The speed of digital processing is constantly increasing.
Now “invisible” can be saved only being at a distance from the Russian air defense zone. If the plane has infiltrated an area served by radars, then its coordinates will be transmitted from radar to radar until the moment comes when an anti-aircraft missile can be fired at the plane.
The National Interest’s reasoning can be supplemented as follows. Modern techniques for dealing with “invisible” include the reception of diversity in space of the transmitting and receiving radar antennas. If they are aligned at one point in space, then the “invisible” casts the scanning beam to the sides. And a tiny fraction of the signal emitted by the transmitter returns to the receiving antenna. If these two antennas are separated in space, then a larger signal reflected from the fighter will return to the receiving antenna.
There is one more technique for detecting “invisible”. Stealth technologies are capable of “hiding” an aircraft if the air defense radar operates in the centimeter wavelength range. When using the decimeter range, the F-22 will be detected at a distance of up to 150 km. In the meter range – up to 300-400 km, that is, from the point of view of location, the fifth generation “invisible” will not differ from the third generation fighter.
However, such a location has a drawback: with an increase in the wavelength of the radar, the accuracy of determining the coordinates of the target decreases. That is, the possibility of targeting an anti-aircraft missile is excluded.
But the S-400 is strong not only by a large set of different missiles, each of which is used against a specific type of targets – high-speed, highly maneuverable, ballistic, low-flying, stealthy, but also by the versatility of the radar, or rather, a set of radars, because there are several of them.
And if it is necessary to combat stealth targets, the S-400 is supplemented with two radars – “Sky-UM” of the meter range and “Protivnik-G” of the decimeter range. The meter station detects “invisible” at the farthest approaches, having an instrumental range of 700 km. Then the “invisible”, as they approach, are transmitted to the decimeter station “Protivnik-G”. It has a digital antenna array of impressive dimensions – 5.5 × 7 m.
The station also has high-performance computing resources. Due to these two factors, it was possible in the decimeter range not only to detect “invisible” at a great distance, but also to direct anti-aircraft missiles at them, the achieved accuracy allows this. This station can also transmit the target of the centimeter range radar included in the air defense system.
Two radars – “Sky-UM” and “Protivnik-G” – are a powerful addition to the medium and long-range air defense systems, which are various modifications of the S-300, S-350, S-400. They provide early detection of stealth fighters. However, they are extremely useful for combating drones, which also have low values of the effective scattering area.
It is understandable that Washington is nervous about the prospect of spreading Russian anti-aircraft technology to countries against which the United States could unleash “military sanctions” in the future. They are nervous about the greatly shaken status of the “world gendarme”.