In our previous review, wholly and completely focused on the analysis of the capabilities of the avionics of the aircraft of the strategic radar, radio-technical and optical-electronic reconnaissance Tu-214R, we were able to come to the final conclusion that, that the multi-band radar / radio-technical side-scan complex MRK-411 is almost the only one of its kind domestic AFAR-radar aircraft based, element base and software of which ensure the implementation of the widest range of operating modes. These include high-precision SAR / ISAR modes. (synthetic aperture / reversed synthetic aperture), allowing to identify small-sized ground objects by radar silhouette, direction finding mode for mobile ground objects GMTI, as well as a very exotic low-frequency subsurface radar mode, using the frequency range from 120 to 300 MHz and allows you to reveal the location of the enemy bunker infrastructure with a detailed drawing of its architecture.
As a result, the realization of the above potential by the MRK-411 complexes in conjunction with the survey capabilities of the multispectral turret optoelectronic complexes of the OESVR "Fraction" transforms the small fleet of Tu-214R aircraft (RA-64511 and RA-64514) into the most advanced reconnaissance component of the Russian Aerospace Forces of the XXI century, providing comprehensive information about the tactical situation as a unit of missile forces and artillery of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as fighter squadrons of the Aerospace Forces and separate naval assault aviation regiments of the Russian Navy.
Potential, inaccessible Tu-214R
Meanwhile, self-defense that has absolutely no missile weapons (short-range air combat missiles R-73RDM-2 or RVV-MD), as well as those with subsonic flight speed, huge image intensifier of several tens of square meters and low maneuverability, Tu-214R aircraft are capable of operating only a few hundred kilometers from the anti-air zones of restriction and denial of access and maneuver A2 / AD of the enemy, erected by shipborne BIUS "Aegis" with long-range missiles SM-6 (RIM-174 ERAM), Long-range air defense system "Patriot PAC-2", as well as tactical fighter squadrons of the NATO Air Force. That is, the comprehensive implementation of the capabilities of the MRK-411 and "Fraktsia" on-board systems can be achieved only after the Tu-214R approaches the reconnaissance objects at a distance of 150-200 km, which is realizable only after the full suppression of the aforementioned enemy air defense systems by means of massive strikes with Kh-47M2 "Dagger" aeroballistic missiles, anti-radar missiles Kh-58UShK and KR "Caliber-NK / PL".
Furthermore, due to the absence of underwing suspension assemblies with the R-73 or RVV-SD self-defense URVB, Tu-214R strategic radar and optical-electronic reconnaissance aircraft need regular escort by multifunctional fighters of the Su-30SM / 1 families, Su-35S or Su-57 (especially on the European conventional theater of operations replete with modern tactical enemy aircraft). How view, maximum flexibility and efficiency of the use of these aircraft can be achieved only in favorable operational and strategic conditions.
The upgraded Su-34 heavy multipurpose fighter-bombers can boast of an order of magnitude higher combat stability and efficiency in the above-described conditions., who received an interesting "intelligence package" of software and hardware updates as part of research and development work "Sych". In particular, we are talking about software and hardware integration of onboard radio-electronic equipment of shock "dryers" of three types, already passed field tests of container reconnaissance complexes of the Sych family:
"Felon" and "Blinder". Why did NATO give ridiculous nicknames Russian arms
- UKR-OE - container multispectral optoelectronic complex (TV / IR / low-band);
- UKR-RL / BKR-3 - X-band surface radar reconnaissance container complex, presented by a two-way low-element radar with PFAR "Pika-M" with a resolution of about 0,3 m in SAR / ISAR mode and instrumental range over 300 km; the beginning of large-scale production of this product for the subsequent equipping of combatant Su-34 was announced by competent sources at the headquarters of JSC NII "Kulon" in the middle 2016;
- UKR-RT - multi-band container complex of passive electronic intelligence, allowing to detect and analyze the frequency parameters of enemy radio-emitting sources (modern airborne enemy radars of the AN / APG-77/79/81 types in the aisle tracking and even LPI modes, active radar seeker missiles and air defense missiles, as well as surveillance radars and illumination radars, attached to enemy anti-aircraft missile divisions), and then issue direct target designation to RVV-SD air-to-air missiles, or even more long-range "Products 180", which can enter service with the Aerospace Forces within the next two years.
Antenna module of a container radar “Pika-M”
Similar quality, due to the possibility of placing "Products 180" on the Su-34 suspension nodes, will provide the leading reconnaissance crews of the "Fulbeks" with the opportunity to give a serious rebuff to the enemy's tactical aviation (upgraded F-15C "Eagle", Lightningham or Typhoon) in a duel situation, and even without support from the Su-35S multifunctional fighters.
It is logical to summarize, that Su-34 supersonic front-line fighter-bombers equipped with container reconnaissance systems of the Sych line, possessing not only impressive missile arsenals, but also with higher speed and maneuverability parameters, can more than compensate for the impossibility of using the more vulnerable Tu-214R in the most active areas of modern theaters of military operations.