Savunma ve Stratejik Analizler

21 Ekim 2013 Pazartesi

Imagery shows new HQ-9 radar at Chinese SAM training site

2013-10-06 O'Connor, Sean

Astrium satellite imagery taken in August shows a new Chinese air-defence radar at a training site near Xian.

The radar appears to be a Chinese derivative of the Russian 64N6E radar for the PLA's HQ-9 SAM system

Satellite imagery captured on 29 August 2013 by Astrium and provided to IHS Jane's shows a new air-defence radar deployed at the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Sanyuan surface-to-air (SAM) training complex near Xian, China.

The radar, which is associated with the HQ-9 SAM system, appears to be a Chinese-manufactured derivative of Russia's 64N6E. China operates the 64N6E and 64N6E2 in support of S-300PMU-1 and S-300PMU-2 batteries. The HQ-9 is a Chinese-developed enhancement of the S-300PMU-1 system.

The unidentified radar was first seen in DigitalGlobe imagery captured in May 2011 of the Jurong radar test centre southeast of Nanjing. Chinese-sourced handheld imagery depicting the radar emerged on the internet in July 2013, revealing a phased-array antenna virtually identical to that of the 64N6E.

The primary external difference between the Chinese system and the Russian 64N6E is the vehicle. China's radar employs a less robust tractor-trailer arrangement. While potentially restricting system mobility, the result is a complete system approximately 1 m shorter than the 64N6E.

The new radar will serve to supplement pre-existing battery-level electronic warfare (EW) assets deployed with the HQ-9. If it follows the operational model employed by the 64N6E, the new radar will serve in a higher-echelon battle management capacity, providing long-range surveillance and target track hand-off to subordinate batteries.

As such, the system represents a force multiplier, increasing the effectiveness of subordinate HQ-9 batteries by performing target track deconfliction and providing accurate pre-engagement track data. As a derivative of the 64N6E, the new system may possess the ability to operate with both Chinese and Russian-produced systems. This would serve to further integrate the nationwide integrated air-defence systems (IADSs), increasing the effectiveness of the network as a whole.

The presence of the battle-management radar at the Sanyuan SAM training complex indicates the start of crew training on the system, a precursor to field deployment to support operational HQ-9 batteries. Sited in the southeastern portion of the Lanzhou Military Region on the grounds of a former HQ-2 site, the training complex performs crew certification for various systems, with HQ-2 and HQ-9 components present in available imagery. Also visible in the imagery is an HT-233 (96L6E in Russian service) radar, which is associated with the S-300PMU-2/HQ-9.

The radar's location at Sanyuan also suggests that the first operational unit to add the system will be the Lanzhou Military Region's 17 SAM Brigade. The 17 SAM Brigade operates six HQ-9 batteries near Xian, Baoji, and Lanzhou, with the 25 Battalion's site located about 650 km northwest of the training complex.

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