S-300 76N6 Ballistic Missile System
Its sibling, the 76N6 Clam Shell low level early warning radar, is an unconventional frequency modulated continuous wave design, using a split antenna arrangement with a large ‘beak’ to prevent spillover from the receiver. Quoted performance figures include the detection of targets with a radar cross section as low as 0.02 square metres, at speeds of up to 1400kt (2595km/h), with a bearing resolution of 1 degree, velocity
resolution of 9.3kt (17km) and range resolution of 2.15nm (4km).
Quoted RMS tracking errors are 0.3 degree in bearing, 4.7kt (8.7km/h) in velocity and 1nm (1.9km) in range. Chaff rejection performance is quoted at better than 100 dB, detection range is stated to be 50nm (92km) for targets at 1500ft altitude, and 65nm (120km/h) for 3000ft altitude. The transmitter delivers 1.4 kW of CW power at an unspecified carrier frequency, system MTBF is quoted at 100hr with an MTTR of 0.5 hr.
The Tin Shield/Clam Shell/Flap Lid combo provided the V-PVO with the first all altitude acquisition and engagement package on a semi-mobile SAM system and was a key factor driving the development of the F-117A and B-2A bombers. Had the balloon gone up in 1984, the F-117A would have been tasked first and foremost with obliterating the V-PVO’s S-300P radar systems.
Growing US electronic combat and SEAD capabilities, in the EF-111A Raven and F-4G Weasel forces, were clearly considered a serious threat and this spurred the further evolution of the S-300PT system. In 1982 the V-PVO introduced a fully mobile variant of the system, designated the S-300PS (P – PVO, S – Samochodnyy/Self-propelled), labelled by NATO the SA-10B.
The S-300PS saw the 30N6 Flap Lid engagement radar and 5P85 TEL transplanted on to the high mobility 8x8 MAZ-7910 vehicle derived from the MAZ-543. This permitted the engagement radar and TELs to set up for firing in five minutes, and rapidly scoot away after a missile shot to evade US Air Force Weasels. Two improved variants of the 5V55 missile were introduced. The 50nm (92km) extended range 5V55KD was supplemented with the 5V55R, the latter using a Track Via Missile (TVM) semi-active seeker similar in concept to the MIM-104 Patriot seeker.
The TVM system relays to the ground station radar data produced by the missile seeker, and offers better jam resistance and accuracy against a pure command link guidance package, especially as the missile nears the target. Later variants of the Flap Lid are designated as ‘Radiolokator Podsvieta i Navedeniya’ (RPN – Illumination and Guidance Radar).
The improved 30N6 Flap Lid B radar had the capability to concurrently engage six targets, and guide two missiles against each target. The phased array beam steering angular range was extended to permit instantaneous coverage of a 90 degree sector, comparable to the SPY-1 Aegis radar.
Improvements were not confined to the radar and missiles. Two variants of the MAZ-7910 based TEL were introduced. The 5P85S with the characteristic large accessory cabin and the ‘supplementary’ 5P85D TEL/Transloader, were both equipped with 5S18/19 series autonomous electrical power generators. A
fully mobile 54K6 command post was introduced, also carried by a MAZ-7910. A typical battery would include one 5P85S TEL, two 5P85D TEL/Transloaders and one mobile 5N63S/30N6 Flap Lid B radar.
The S-300PS/SA-10B was a close technological equivalent to the MIM-104 in all respects, but was significantly more mobile, and offered a better low altitude footprint due to the semimobile mast mounted Tin Shield and Clam Shell systems.
The first export variant of the S-300P series was the S-300PMU/SA-10C, which was in most respects identical to the Soviet S-300PS/SA-10B and made available in 1989. The S-300PMU saw the introduction of a third TEL variant, the semitrailer based 5P85T series usually towed by a 6x6 KrAZ-260 tractor. Unlike the earlier road mobile 5P85 TEL, the 5P85T was designed for rapid erection and launch
preparation, and was equipped with an integral electrical power generator and a radio datalink package for autonomous operation. The key distinction is that the 5P85T is a road mobile TEL rather than off-road mobile TEL, quite unlike the semi-mobile 5P85 TEL.
The next big evolutionary step in the S-300P system was the introduction of the enhanced S-300PM and its export variant the S-300PMU-1/SA-10D, in 1993. The SA-10D was subjected to what Russian sources describe as a ‘deep modernisation’, with design changes to most key components of the system. The aim
was to improve its basic capabilities as a SAM, extend radar and engagement footprints, increase the level of automation in the system, and introduce an anti-ballistic missile capability against ballistic missiles with re-entry speeds of up to 2.8 km/sec. It is intended to engage combat aircraft at all altitudes, cruise missiles and tactical ballistic missiles, making it an equivalent to the PAC-1 and PAC-2 Patriot variants.
Incremental changes were made to the Flap Lid, yielding the 30N6E1 variant, capable of guiding the new 48N6 missile, the manufacturer claims an ability to engage targets with an RCS as low as 0.02 square metres at an unspecified range, and an autonomous search capability. The 30N6E1 retains the capability
to deploy on the 40V6M mast. An improved 54K6E1 mobile command post was introduced, the 76N6 Clam Shell was retained.