Zhuk-ME Antenna at MAKS 2007
|Country of origin||Russia|
|Range||90 to 200 km, depending on variant|
The Zhuk are a family of Russian (former USSR) all-weather multimode airborne radars developed by NIIR Phazotron for multi-role combat aircraft such as the MiG-29 and the Su-27. The latest versions are also known as the Sokol.
- 1 Description
- 2 Variants
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
The Zhuk (Beetle) family of X band Pulse-Doppler radars provide aircraft with two modes of operation, air-to-air, and air-to-surface. The air-to-air mode of the Zhuk is capable of detecting targets and measuring their coordinates, range and speed. The radar has a look-down/shoot-down capability for air targets against a cluttered or water background and a variety of search modes are available. Individual targets can be tracked or multiple targets can be tracked and engaged at once while searching for new targets in track while scan mode. The Zhuk radar can identify detected targets by class and prioritise multiple targets for engagement. A variety of close combat scanning modes are featured including vertical scan, HUD view, boresight and slewable are available as well as locking onto a visually acquired target. The Zhuk radar also offers the ability to track and engage helicopters even when they are hovering. The Zhuk is compatible with a variety of air-to-air weapons including the radar guided R-77 and R-27 missiles to which it can provide targeting, target brightening and radio adjustment. The radar is compatible with optically guided missiles like the R-73 and can also provide fire control for aircraft cannon.
In the air-to-surface mode the N010 radar offers a mapping capability using either Synthetic aperture radar (SAR), real beam or doppler beam narrowing modes with a resolution of up to 3x3m with zooming and image freezing functions. The radar can detect and track with measurement of range and speed both moving and static ground and naval targets. The Zhuk radar can support low altitude terrain following flying and can also detect dangerous weather patterns during flight. The radar is compatible with a variety of air-to-surface weaponry, including Kh-29 air-to-surface missiles as well as Kh-31 anti-radiation missiles.
The Zhuk radar is modular in design with older variants of the radar such as the Zhuk-M and Zhuk-MS capable of being upgraded to the latest Zhuk-A standard.
The Zhuk radar was first tested in 1986 for installation on the MiG-29M fighter upgrade and was also proposed as a radar upgrade for the MiG-23 fighter. The original Zhuk radar was only really capable of air-to-air combat and never made it into service with the Russian armed forces due to the cancellation of the MiG-29M upgrade program. The Zhuk has a weight of 220 kg and uses a 680 mm electronically scanned slotted planar array antenna which offers a detection range of 90 km against a target with a 5 m2 radar cross-section (RCS). The radar can track 10–12 targets while engaging 2–4 of them with a scanning area of +/- 90 degrees in azimuth and +55/-40 degrees in elevation; its power output was rated at 5 kW peak.
Designed for the Su-27 but with similar tracking and scanning performance to the Zhuk radar, the Zhuk-27 weighed slightly more than the Zhuk at 260 kg but had a superior detection range of 130 km vs a 5 m2 RCS target.
Zhuk-M (Export Designation Zhuk-ME)
The N010M Zhuk-M is an advanced variant of the original N010 Zhuk radar introducing advanced air-to-surface functions like mapping and terrain following. The radar forms part of the MiG-29SMT upgrade, the Zhuk-ME finding success on export MiG-29 aircraft to countries like India. The radar features improved signal processing and has a detection range of up to 120 km vs a 5 m2 RCS target for the export variant, and up to 10 targets tracked and up to 4 attacked at once in air-to-air mode. The tracking range is 0.83 - 0.85 of the detection range. In air-to-surface mode the radar can detect a tank from up to 25 km away and a bridge from 120 km away, a naval destroyer could be detected up to 300 km away and up to two surface targets can be tracked at once. The radar has a weight of 220 kg and a scanning area of +/- 85 degrees in azimuth and +56/-40 degrees in elevation. The antenna is an electronically scanned slotted planar array and has a diameter of 624 mm.
Zhuk-MS (Export Designation Zhuk-MSE)
Zhuk-M radar developed for the Su-27 and its derivatives, the export Zhuk-MSE is suggested as being exported to China for use in PLAAF Su-30MKK aircraft. The antenna is an electronically scanned slotted planar array and has a diameter of 980 mm with a peak output of 6 kW. The Zhuk-MSE offers detection performance up to 150 km vs a 5 m2 RCS target with up to 10 targets tracked and up to 4 attacked at once in air-to-air mode. The radar has a weight of 275 kg 
An original Zhuk radar featuring a passive electronically scanned array (PESA) antenna instead of a slotted planar array, the radar never made it into service or out of development despite being offered for export. Designed for the Su-27 the Zhuk-F had a 130–200 km detection range vs a 5 m2 RCS target with up to 24 targets tracked and up to 8 engaged. The radar had a weight of 300 kg and a scanning area of +/- 70 degrees in elevation and azimuth.
Zhuk-MF (Export Designation Zhuk-MFE) former N031 Sokol series
N031 Sokol series were originally separate radar family from Zhuk family. But were relabeled under "Zhuk" label. Sokol/Zhuk-MF use Phazotron's unique radial distribution arrangement in the backplane waveguide feed, and proprietary radiating element placement. Featuring a 700 mm antenna. The Zhuk-MFE offered initial detection performance of up to 120 km. With capability of tracking up to 20 targets and engaging up to 4 engaged of those at once. Sokol/Zhuk-MF is designed for high reliability, and is frequency agile with LPI and anti-ECM features. The radar has a weight of 285 kg  Further work on Sokol/Zhuk-MF was stopped.
Zhuk-MFS (Export Designation Zhuk-MFSE)
N031 Sokol series were originally separate radar family from Zhuk family. But were relabeled under "Zhuk" label. Offered for Sukhoi familly and also as an alternative radar for the MiG-31 interceptor as opposed to the standard N007 Zaslon radar. Sokol/Zhuk-MFSE use Phazotron's unique radial distribution arrangement in the backplane waveguide feed, and proprietary radiating element placement. The Zhuk-MFSE offers detection performance up to 180 km vs a 5 m2 RCS target with up to 30 targets tracked and up to 6 attacked at once in air-to-air mode. The radar has a weight of 305 kg. The radar uses a PESA antenna, which has a diameter of 980 mm with a peak power output of 8 kW with 16 carrier frequencies. Sokol/Zhuk-MF is also frequency agile with LPI and anti-ECM features.
The first incarnation of the Zhuk radar family featuring an Active electronically scanned array (AESA) based on N031 Sokol series was introduced in 2005 at MAKS. The Zhuk MA (MAE for export) used 1088 transceiver modules divide into 272 blocks and an antenna of 700 mm diameter. With a range of 200 km and ability to track 30 targets and engage 8 out of those. Was aimed for Su-27's and MiG-29's. However, the large size and weight (about 400~500 kg) it was deemed too heavy. (Official placard from 2005 MAKS contradicts this and puts the weight at 285 kg.) It could be that Zhuk-MA was confused with the first Phazotron-NIIR AESA of which only the antenna was shown at MAKS 2001 ) Originally also known as FMG-29
The second incarnation of the Zhuk radar family shown at MAKS 2007 featuring an Active electronically scanned array were the Zhuk-A (AE for export). Two variants of the Zhuk-A's exist: the FGA-29, and the bigger FGA-35.
the FGA-29 features a 575 mm antenna and 680 T/R modules. Was stated for initial stage performance to have a detection range of 120 km (Later advertised as 130 km)for 3m2 targets and able to track 30 targets and engaged 6 of those at any one time. Later the performance was raised to 148 km for detection and tracking and was expected to reach a detection range up to 250 km. Work on FGA-29 was stopped. and the FGA-29 label was given to FGA-35 1016 T/R radar.
The FGA-35 featured 688mm antenna and 1016 T/R modules (originally planned 1064) with initial stage performance of a 200 km detection range for 3m2 RCS target. Later detection range was raised up to 250 km. Able to track 30 targets and engage 6 of those at any one time. (Later reports mentioned capability of detecting 60 targets and tracking 30 with ability to engage 8 of those. Some western and Russian sources erroneously reporting 60 targets tracked instead of detected. ) The FGA-35 was later relabeled as FGA-29.
The FGA-35(3D) was first shown at MAKS in 2013. It's a GaN-based AESA, scalable, meant for various platforms with the version shown at MAKS having a 688mm antenna and 960 T/R's. FGA-35(3D) was later relabeled as FGA-35 while the original FGA-35 was relabeled as FGA-29.
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