The Russian Armed Forces is taking a big step forward with its new electronic warfare system. In fact, the new Richag-AV Electronic Warfare System is said to have no available global equivalent.
The Richag-AV will replace the outdated Smalta Jamming System—developed in the 1970s. The Smalta was deemed one of the most efficient jamming system when it was first introduced and had an effective range of 100 kilometers.
Although no official range is available, the Richag-AV system will most likely reach several hundred kilometers.
Richag-AV Electronic Warfare System
The Richag-AV Electronic Warfare System can be mounted on any units of the Russian Armed Forces including helicopters, aircrafts, warships and ground vehicles.
Russia received 3 Mi8-MTPR1—a variant of the Mi-8MBT5-1, mounted with the Richag-AV Electronic Warfare System—earlier last week from the Russian Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET) company.
According to Sputnik News: “The Mi8-MTPR1-based Richag-AV platform, using multi-beam antenna arrays with DRFM technology, is designed to actively jam and thus ‘blind’ radar systems in order to defend against radio-electronic guided weapons systems. In a combat situation, the system would operate as part of an aviation shock attack group aimed at breaking through virtually any defense system, blinding everything up to and including the US MIM-104 ‘Patriot’ anti-aircraft missile system.”
The Richag-AV system electronic countermeasures system can efficiently jam radars, sonars, air-to-air and ground-to-air systems.
“This type of helicopters is fitted with a unique jammer that would ensure the protection for the group of airplanes, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground vehicles and ships from air attacks and strokes of enemy’s air defense systems within a radius of several hundred kilometers,” an official spokesperson of the Air Force Colonel Igor Klimov said.
The Russian Armed Forces will receive a total of 18 Mi8-MTPR1, costing approximately 11.5 billion rubles ($186 million) and should be fully delivered by October 2016.
The Richag-AV will also enable the Russian Armed Forces to carry radar-based intelligence gathering, making it able to find foreign sources of electromagnetic radiation.
Russian fighter aircraft in the Black Sea testing the Richag-AV?
Early last week, 3 Russian Su-30 and 4 Russian Su-24 used two NATO warships to practice penetrating their anti-air systems. Could those fighter aircrafts tested the Richag-AV on a “live” mission? In my opinion, there is good probability they were indeed testing the Rachag-AV, using one of their newest multirole fighter—the Su-30.
With Crimea now under the Russian flag, the Russian Armed Forces has more options to counter NATO’s warships in the Black Sea. Having fighter aircrafts that are able to counter and jam the warships radar systems gives them a chance to go undetected until the very last moment.
The Russian Armed Forces is also equipped with the L-175B Hibini Air, 1L269 Krasuha-2 and 1L267 Moskva-1 ground-based electronic warfare systems.
It is very likely that Russia will deploy the Richag-AV system—installed on fighter aircrafts—in the Kalinigrad Oblast and use them to probe NATO’s airspace.