From JMR Dec 2005
some pics of the Newa-SC from 2003Poland develops further S-125 SAM upgrade
The Newa-SCM upgrade package developed for the S-125 Newa/Pechora (SA-3 'Goa') surface-to-air missile (SAM) system by Wojskowe Zaklady Elektroniczne (WZE) further expands the capabilities offered by the S-125SC Newa-SC (SC - Samobiezny, Cyfrowy or self-propelled, digital) package adopted by the Polish Air Force ground-based air-defence battalions, writes Grzegorz Holdanowicz.
The S-125SC upgrade had been developed by the Aviation and Armament Faculty of the Military Academy of Technology (WAT) in Warsaw, in close co-operation with WZE. Its developers describe it as the only digital and mobile S-125 upgrade to be operationally deployed worldwide. The Polish Air Force received the first two WZE-modernised S-125 systems in 1999 and accepted the last in 2004. The cost of the S-125SC programme is reported as PLN120 million (USD37.5 million) for 20 systems, each intended to equip a battalion.
A technology demonstrator for the Newa-SCM has been field tested and shown to further increase the system's capabilities. It incorporates a new ZNO-X digital transmitter/receiver block developed by the Przemyslowy Instytut Telekomunikacji (PIT) to replace the original magnetron-based hardware. The unit uses digital technology, including digital frequency synthesis, and has automatic built-in test facilities.
While the ZNO-X is an expensive upgrade, it significantly improves system performance. According to information provided by Poland's Ministry of National Defence (MND), the Newa-SC has 22 per cent better detection and tracking ranges than the original Newa/Pechora system, and what were described as "dramatically better ECCM [electronic counter-countermeasures] capabilities". JMR was told that the range from which the system might be detected by an aircraft's radar-warning receiver was reduced by nine per cent, while installation of ZNO-X and incorporation of other improvements could reduce it by a factor of four. The maximum range for target detection is increased by 44 per cent, while that for target tracking is improved by 21 per cent.
JMR was told by a member of WZE senior management that although adoption of the ZNO-X module is expensive, it would allow the system's life to be extended in a very cost-effective manner by replacing the current missiles with newer types. One possibility would be to adopt a ground-launched variant of the infrared-guided R-27T (AA-10 'Alamo-B') that is being developed in Ukraine.
In the Newa-SC, the system operators' compartment (known as the KDN shelter) is transported on a MAZ-543 truck formerly used as transporter/erector/launcher (TEL) chassis for the R-300 300 km-range tactical ballistic missile. These vehicles became available when the Polish R-300 force was retired during the 1990s. In the Newa-SCM version, the KDN would be truck-mounted and connected with a SNR-125SCM ('Low Blow') radar unit via a 500 m fibre-optic link.
The Polish Air Force opted for a tracked chassis for its S-125SC missile launchers. The quadruple launchers have been installed on chassis of the former BGT-67 assault bridge, the WZT-1 armoured tractor and the T-55A tank chassis.
The W-125SCM launcher can be installed either on a tracked or wheeled chassis. A prototype of a completely modernised launcher unit mounted on a T-55 tank chassis has been developed by WZE and is ready for production if required. It is equipped with a digital launch automation system (CUAS) and a digital launcher steering system (CUSNW).
In the Polish configuration, the SNR-125M tracking radar has been upgraded by installation of a CNPEP Radwar-manufactured Suprasl-series medium-range IFF (identification friend-or-foe) interrogator.
The size of a Polish SAM battalion had been reduced from 19 vehicles down to eight. Originally, the tracking radar and its equipment were installed on six trailers, while the system was required to co-operate with a P-18 ('Spoon Rest') 2-D air-surveillance radar (a further four trucks and trailers). The Newa-SC can receive its air picture via a telephone line from the national integrated radar surveillance system.
While the original S-125 system was made up of towed hardware intended for deployment at fixed sites, the Newa-SC and Newa-SCM are fully mobile. A Newa-SC battalion is able to relocate to a new firing position in approximately 20-25 minutes. For the unmodified system, such a move would take three hours or more. Every vehicle has its own individual power-supply system. This allows increased autonomy and reduces the time needed to leave one launch site and redeploy at another.
The battalion can move at up to 35 km/h by road, or at 10 km/h while off-road. These speeds could be increased if every battalion was equipped with tank transporters able to carry the launchers. The crew of the Newa-SC is only nine persons, including the three operators responsible for target acquisition, tracking and missile launch.
JMR was told that technical offers of the Newa-SCM have been made to at least five potential customers on three continents. Several sub-variants have been offered; these differ mainly in the type of vehicle that the customer specifies to carry the radars, launchers and other system elements. The potential cost of upgrading a system to S-125SCM standard (excluding the price of new carrier vehicles and new or improved missiles) is about USD2-2.5 million.
The only potential customer that can be named is India, which is still analysing the Polish offer (which was delivered on behalf of WZE by the Cenrex trading company). The Indian Air Force would like to upgrade to 20 S-125M Pechora-CC systems, using primarily the Tatra 8x8 chassis, which is licence-built in India. Installation on specially adapted heavy equipment trailers or Tatra 8x8 vehicles was studied at the request of the Indian Air Force. Most of the upgrade work would be done in India, although the core elements of the upgrade would be delivered from Poland.
JMR has learned that Egypt is still studying the Polish upgrade, even though it awarded Russian industry a contract to upgrade up to 10 S-125 battalions. So far, only two battalions have reached initial operation readiness, while the whole programme is said to face significant delays and technical problems.
Last edited by danrh; 21st December 2005 at 21:49.
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