Russia could equip its Su-34 strike fighters with UKR-RT ELINT pod

World Defense & Security News - Russia
Russia could equip its Su-34 strike fighters with UKR-RT ELINT pod
The Su-34 tactical bomber fleet may be equipped with UKR-RT electronic intelligence (ELINT) pods in the future, according to the Izvestia daily. The Su-34s will get ELINT pods enabling them to both acquire and attack enemy headquarters, communications and data transmission systems and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control centers in real time. The UKR-RT system is carried in a special pod under the fuselage.
Russia plans to equi its Su 34 strike fighters with UKR RT ELINT pod 640 001A Su-34 Fullback equipped with the UKR-RT ELINT pod
(Credit: Алексей Карпулев /
At present, the development of the ELINT system for the Su-34 has been completed, and its tests have begun. The podded ELINT system is believed to enter service soon. Several of the subsidiaries of the Almaz-Antei Corporation and United Instrument Corporation (UIC) have pooled the efforts under the advanced system development program.

The UKR-RT is designed primarily for detecting and pinpointing enemy communications and data transmission systems and radars and for gaging their characteristics. The sophisticated system also can deal with such complex targets as UAV command links.

Expert Anton Lavrov presumes that the UKR-RT turns the tactical bomber into a multirole aircraft capable of air attacks and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions at the same time. The Su-34 carrying the ELINT pod allows saving much money on developing an advanced dedicated ELINT plane. In addition, it features a number of advantages. In peacetime, it can conduct ELINT in a more stealthy way - without having to involve specialized ELINT aircraft, and in times of war, the Su-34 is less vulnerable than ELINT planes derived from airlifters or commercial airliners.

The development of the UKR-RT began in the late 2000s. Open sources published several photos of the Su-34 tactical bomber (serial 47), taken during its test flights, with the plane carrying an advanced ELINT pod on the underbelly hardpoint between the air intakes. The pod was tested without its electronic innards. Its designers needed to select the optimal shape for it and the best place for it to be mounted on so that it does not hamper the aerodynamic performance of the bomber and the fuselage and wing panels do not hinder the ELINT pod’s performance.

Expert Dmitry Boltenkov says that the mainstay of the UKR-RT advanced ELINT pod is the M-410 ELINT system. The M-410 is said to be a smaller version of the more sophisticated Fraktsiya system equipping the cutting-edge Tupolev Tu-214R ELINT/optronic intelligence aircraft. The weight and size were reduced, but the system is said to have retained the capabilities.

Interestingly, foreign military experts believe that the Tu-214R is a unique intelligence platform capable of developing the situation and detecting targets within a radius of several hundred kilometers. Aircraft of the type flew near Japan in late 2012, near the Russian-Ukrainian border in 2014-2015 and a Tu-214R has been operating out of Khmeimim AB in Syria of late.

Presumably, the Fraktsiya system will enable the Tu-214R both to intercept the signals of enemy radars, communications systems and even cell phones and to generate a real-time electronic map of the battlefield, using the data gathered.
© Copyright 2015 TASS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.