What’s in a Name
Over the last five years no less than three very difference antennas have been promoted as the emitting end of the ASLESHA’s low power, lightweight manportable radar, which has raised a few eyebrows. However, the problem was solved in October with the publication of two new on-line brochures. The first shows one of the original antenna formats and is part of the ASLESHA system, whilst the second effectively introduces a new manportable radar called BHARANI, now sporting one of the antennas originally linked to ASLESHA. The third antenna has completely disappeared. So what are the differences: The ASLESHA is promoted as a 3D lightweight radar operating in S-band (NATO EF-band) using multibeam technology with a 900W output but weighs in at 190kg. Meanwhile BHARANI, that appears to share exactly the same folding pedestal arrangement, functions in L-band (NATO D-band) with a peak power of 400W at 10% duty cycle, offering 2D solutions but only weighs 30kg.
Staying with names, what is the difference between TIN SHIELD and THIN SHIELD ? I will give you a clue to a possible answer, although I am not sure myself, so feed back would be welcomed. The Russian ST-86UM / 36D6 is commonly known within NATO as TIN SHIELD. Recently I saw a note about 36D6-M, which is a dual purpose, military / civil variant deployed in the Ukraine that seemingly has been named THIN SHIELD. Could this be true I wonder?
And now for some Satellite information. NOSS is the American Naval Ocean Surveillance Satellite. It is claimed that its onboard interferometer is about 3.6 billion times more sensitive in the sky than what it might be on a mast just 4m high. In fact it is claimed that with four equivalent NOSS constellations, China can track an F-22 anywhere at anytime if it emits any EM radiation at all. Lets hope it never has to be put to the test in conflict.
Of interest, there are currently 73 Chinese satellites in orbit. No they are not all radar equipped but they all have sensors that regularly report to base, via data links, although how much of that data is relayed en clair, in a recognisable format is not known and of course, one suspects you would have to be in the Pacific region to detect a downlink, unless China has satellite support station dotted around our World.
It appears that the Russian Frigate Project 22350 has been subject of some setbacks, possibly caused by inability to produce the required surveillance radar system on time. This is the 3K96 Poliment-Redut naval SAM system. The full extent of the problem is not understood but will be reported when known.