Russia has modernized its unique Don-2N radar station located in the Moscow region, Yuri Anoshko, general director of the RTI Systems (Radio Technical and Information Systems) told RIA Novosti. “Now it is being tested. As a result of these works, the functionality has changed,” he said at the Army-2021 forum. He said that both quantitative and qualitative characteristics have changed but did not get into the specifics.
The Don-2N station is part of the missile attack warning system and provides information to the anti-missile defense (ABM) of Moscow. The construction of the radar began in 1978, and in 1989 it was put into service.
The antennas are installed in a concrete truncated pyramid, the height of an 11-storey building and with a base width of almost 150 meters. This is the only example of the radar system. The Don-2N radar is capable of detecting small-size ballistic missile warheads at long ranges, determining their trajectories, classify warheads and respond with heavy and light decoys, dipole reflectors, and active jamming.
Russian missile attack warning system (SPRN)
Radar stations of the Russian missile attack warning system (SPRN) are capable of tracking objects at an altitude of 30 thousand kilometres, said Yuri Anoshko.
“Today we see spacecraft in geostationary orbit using radar stations that are part of the early warning system. This is more than 30 thousand kilometres above the Earth’s surface,” Anoshko said.
Speaking about objects in the airspace, the general director noted that, in fact, Russian early warning systems see any target located over the horizon.
“We are talking, among other things, about aerodynamic objects, for example, aeroplanes, as well as about hypersonic vehicles. The question is what size the target and at what distance we need to track it,” he said.
The Russian early warning system solves the problem of obtaining trajectory data for Russian ABM forces. The ground echelon consists of radar stations of the Voronezh type. They create a continuous radar field around the territory of the Russian Federation to track ballistic targets.
Space-based early warning system
For tracking in space, Russia uses a combination of the Tundra satellites from the EKS satellite constellation and ground-based radar systems. EKS constellation is the experimental version and began tracking in December 2017. It includes four new satellites called the Dome.
Russia is creating a space module for missile attack warning and is planned to be deployed by 2024. It is a part of the creation of the Unified Space System (CES).
CEN will significantly reduce the time it takes to detect ballistic missile launches, and significantly increase the reliability and efficiency of delivering information about missile threats to the Russian leadership. It includes new generation spacecraft in highly elliptical and geostationary orbits. The Russians say that CEN is comparable to the American space-based missile attack warning system SBIRS.
Soviet Union destroyed Early Warning Radars due to the US Pressure
Many Russian stations of the early warning system had been destroyed under the pressure of the United States.
Some Soviet ABM radar stations were not in sync with the ABM treaty with the US. The Soviet Union did not proceed with the construction of Daryal and Daryal-UM based radars. Some were even blown up. Soviets had planned at least seven Daryal facilities but only two were completed. Pechora and Gabala were operational. Two Daryal-Uradar sites, Balkhash and Mishelevka, Irkutsk, were never completed.