Here is an interesting article from Australia regarding assessing Iranian air Defenses, with a section on radar. Note there are a lot good pictures in the article at the original source.
Reassessing Iran's Air Defences
Air Power Australia - Australia's Independent Defence Think Tank
Air Power Australia NOTAM
17th July, 2010
Dr Carlo Kopp, SMAIAA, MIEEE, PEng,
Head of Capability Analysis, Air Power Australia
Contacts: Carlo Kopp
Iran recently paraded a Russian built Nebo SVU counter-stealth radar system. Depicted is an NNIIRT 1L119 Nebo SVU VHF-band AESA radar demonstrator towed by a Ural 4320 6 x 6 tractor on display in deployed configuration (Image © Miroslav Gyrösi).
Ongoing disagreements between the Western alliance and Iran over that nation's illicit nuclear materials program have fuelled considerable speculation in recent weeks over the possibility of Israeli or US led air strikes against Iran's nuclear industrial base. Should this outcome arise, attacking aircraft will have to overcome a disparate but rapidly modernising Integrated Air Defence System (IADS).
Performing accurate assessments of Iran's military capabilities is always challenging, as Iran is a closed society run by an Islamo-fascist regime, itself dominated by a theocratic leadership, and its military arm, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). This arrangement is in many key respects modelled on the 1940s Nazi state, where the regime maintained its own private military force (the Waffen SS) to make military coups against the regime difficult, if not impossible.
Air Power Australia has published two assessments of Iran's air defence system since 2007, one exploring the technology used in Iran's IADS, the other the deployment of strategic SAM systems and their achievable coverage. Neither assessment has credited Iran with an effective capability, and for good reasons, as much of Iran's inventory of radar equipment and SAMs qualifies as obsolete by contemporary standards , .
Three SAM types provide primary area defence coverage:
1. The Russian supplied Almaz S-200VE Vega / SA-5B Gammon long range SAM, with a range of up to 200 nautical miles against high flying targets;
2. The Chinese supplied HQ-2 Sayyad / CSA-1 or 2 Guideline medium range SAM, with a range of around 30 nautical miles;
3. The US supplied Raytheon MIM-23 Hawk tactical SAM, kept operational and modified since the fall of the Shah in 1979, with a range of around 15 nautical miles.
Claims have emerged that Iran has reverse engineered the Hawk and is manufacturing components or systems. Similar claims have also emerged around the Chinese supplied SA-2 Guideline. Reports of unspecified upgrades to the Russian supplied SA-5 Gammons also exist. No good open source validation has emerged as yet for any of these claims, as a result of which assessments are limited to close in and overhead image interpretation, which cannot usually help in assessing improvements to guidance and internal electronic components, such as missile seekers and datalinks.
A wide range of possibilities exists, in terms of technology upgrades available for the S-200VE Vega / SA-5B Gammon, the HQ-2 Sayyad / CSA-1/2 Guideline, and sufficient basic technology exists in the global market to effect numerous upgrades to the MIM-23B Hawk. While the latter would involve considerable indigenous engineering effort, as suggested by Iranian media claims around the Mersad system, upgrades to the original Soviet SAM systems and supporting radars are widely available, with offerings from Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Serbia and other nations now available in the market.
The basic S-200VE Vega / SA-5B Gammon and HQ-2 Sayyad / CSA-1/2 Guideline have been wholly compromised since the end of the Cold War, as a result of which highly effective electronic countermeasures techniques exist against the radar equipment employed in both. The original analogue SNR/RSNA-75 Fan Song, SJ-202 Gin Sling and 5N62 Square Pair cannot compete against contemporary Digital RF Memory (DRFM) jammer technology, whether used in self protection systems, or support jamming systems.
The same is not necessarily true of any digital rebuilds which may have been applied to the engagement radars and in the instance of the CWSARH S-200VE Vega / SA-5B Gammon and Mersad, also the missile terminal seekers. Upgrades produced in Belarus for instance incorporate fully digital signal and data processing, modern ECCM features, and jam resistant frequency hopping waveforms, as well as non-coherent emitting decoys .
Another possibility, for which no evidence exists to date, is that of hybridisation of these legacy SAMs, using foreign supplied engagement radars, such as the Chinese H-200 space feed PESA.
Given the absence of public disclosure policy in most potential suppliers of such upgrades, covert intelligence collection may be the only way to determine if the claimed upgrades are real or no more than artefacts of Iran's very active propaganda machine.
Iran's Mersad SAM system appears to be a reverse engineered derivative of the MIM-23B Hawk which was the principal SAM operated by Iran before the fall of the Shah, Reza Pahlavi. The system appears to use a largely new package of radar equipment, although the TV tracker equipped CW illuminator resembles the original X-band AN/MPQ-46 HPIR design (left). The acquisition radar also closely resembles the AN/MPQ-50 PAR design (below). Details of other system components have not been disclosed to date.
Most of the recent media coverage surrounding Iran's SAM capabilities has centred on the long delayed delivery of a several batteries of Russian built Almaz S-300PMU1 / SA-20A Gargoyle SAM systems. This SAM system is the export configuration of the late Soviet era S-300PM, the first digital variant of the S-300P series, but lacking the longer ranging radars, missiles and more sophisticated battery networking of the later S-300PMU2 Favorit exported in large numbers to China. Nevertheless, the S-300PMU1 is a formidable SAM system, comparable to earlier variants of the Raytheon MIM-104 Patriot, but with much better mobility and thus survivability under air attack. To date no Western air force has fought against the S-300P series SAM system .
On the 9th June, 2010, the UN Security council voted to upgrade the sanctions regime against Tehran, as a result of which the Russians are now unlikely to proceed with the delivery of these systems to Iran. Official statements by the Russians since then have been interpreted and re-interpreted in the Western, Russian, Israeli and Iranian media. Israeli sources have cited the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrei Denisov, as claiming Moscow believes that the sanctions resolution clearly forbids the sale of the S-300 system to Iran.
Since late June, Iranian media have been actively denouncing Russia's reluctance to complete the deal, with claims that Russia had already been paid for the SAMs. In late June, Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted in the Tehran Times, claiming that Iran would manufacture its own long range SAM systems - a claim not unlike Iran's public declaration during the 1980s, that it would design and build its own replacement for US supplied Grumman F-14A Tomcat fighters.
Earlier claims had emerged that Iran would procure the very similar, but newer in electronic hardware design, Chinese built HQ-9 SAM system. To date no evidence has emerged that the Chinese have been receptive to this idea China has been very actively marketing the HQ-9 internationally, since last year, but would confront serious international political challenges in exporting this system to Iran.
From an analytical perspective, much more interesting than the S-300PMU1
|"That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with stranger aeons, even Death may die."|
The Call of Cthulu, H.P. Lovecraft