Russian PAK FA to be Equipped With Futuristic Photonic Radar


14:41 30.12.2015 (updated 16:30 30.12.2015)

Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA Prototype

Russia’s fifth-generation fighter PAK FA (T-50) may be equipped with an advanced radar which is currently being developed by a Russian corporation.

The radar will be based on Radio-Optical Phased Arrays (ROFAR), explained the adviser of the first deputy general director of concern Radio-Electronic Technology (KRET) Vladimir Mikheev.

KRET is a part of Russia’s Rostec corporation, it developed the electronic systems for the aircraft.

The future radar will be based on the photonic technology that greatly expands the possibilities of communication and radar as their weight will be decreased by more than half and the resolution will increase tenfold.

The ultra-wideband ROFAR signal allows one to virtually get a TV picture on a radar range. Radio photonic technology, in particular, will enhance the capabilities of the latest generation of Russian airplanes and helicopters.

“After our work on ROFAR, a list of aircrafts both manned and unmanned will be presented with an offer to be equipped with the radar based on radio-optical phased arrays. I think that the PAK FA will also be on this list and there will be specific proposals given to it,” Mikheyev told reporters, adding that the final decision will be taken by the Department of Defense.

The developer of ROFAR, KRET has established a laboratory on radio photonics. The concern has already started to perform laboratory tests to create ROFAR. Designed to be finished in 4.5 years, the project remains on schedule, which was agreed on with the Foundation for Advanced Studies.

As was earlier reported by the Deputy CEO of KRET, Igor Nasenkov, the company intends to establish a full-scale sample of the future radar by 2018.

“The PAK FA is a fifth-generation aircraft, with a number of brand-new technologies used in its development. It is a 100 percent digital aircraft. It can provide full information support to the pilot. The aircraft is equipped with versatile antenna systems built in its covering,” Nasenkov said during the Dubai Airshow 2015.

PAC FA (Advanced Tactical Air Sistem) T-50

Read original article: Russian PAK FA to be Equipped With Futuristic Photonic 


KRET creates a laboratory for research in Photonics

The group has been developing radar and EW systems based on new technologies

In recent years, electronic systems all often replaced on the photon. Linked it in the first turn with a different physical nature of the photon. That same is a photon and what unique capabilities of military technology will provide a new direction – believe that radio Photonics?

Fast electrons

Photonics is essentially analogous to electronics, but it uses in place of electrons the electromagnetic field of photons. Photons are more common in terms of the number of particles in the universe and, unlike electrons, have no mass or charge. For this reason, photonic systems are not subject to external electromagnetic fields and have a much larger signal transmission range and bandwidth.

As an area of science, the study of photonics began in 1960 with the invention of the first important technical device using photons, the laser. The very same term “photonics” was used widely in the 1980s in connection with the beginning of widespread use of fiber-optic transmissions. Notably, in Russia the first development of such a fiber-optic cable was completed by Special Design Office of the Cable Industry, which is now part of KRET.

These developments revolutionized the telecommunications sector at the end of the last century and became the basis for the development of the internet. Generally, until 2001, the field of photonics was primarily focused on telecommunications.

Today, telecommunications photonics is helping to create a new trend – radio photonics arising from the merger of radio-wave optics, microwave, optoelectronics, and other branches of science and industry.

In other words, radio photonics deals with problems of transmission, reception, and transformation of information using electromagnetic waves of microwave and photonic devices and systems. These photons facilitate the creation of radio frequency parameters unattainable with conventional electronics.

A breakthrough in radio photons

As is well known, Russia is behind Western countries in terms of microelectronics. But now certain radio photonic technologies have started to beat the competition. Today, Russian scientists in the field of defense technology believe it is possible to give up on electrons and draw attention to the photons that have no mass and fly faster.

According to experts, the servers operating with photonics are a hundred times smaller compared to current models, and the speed of data transmission is tenfold greater.

Or, for example, take ground-based radar. Today, this radar is the size of a multi-story home, but using microwave photonics, the station can be installed on a standard KAMAZ truck. The effectiveness and range of the radar would be exactly the same, namely thousands of kilometers. Several of these mobile and small radar systems can be networked, which will only increase their characteristics.

Photonic technology has greatly expanded the capabilities of airborne radars too. New developments in this area have reduced the weight of existing antennas and radars by more than two times and have increased their resolution by ten times. Also radio photon antennas have a unique immunity to electromagnetic impulses that arise, such as nearby lightning strikes or during solar magnetic storms.

All of this will enable the creation of broadband radars that can facilitate a level of resolution and speed that can be called radar vision. Such systems will be used in the civilian sphere, for example, with high-speed trains that will instantly detect obstacles on the tracks.

Photonics can also be effectively used in housing, for example, in urban and township heating systems. Instead of hot water, photons will be distributed in photonic crystal fibers with the thickness of a human hair. Its energy is converted into heat with nearly 100% efficiency.

Laboratory of the future

In Russia, KRET is developing radio photonic technology. Today, the concern and the Foundation for Advanced Studies are working on a promising project called “Development of an active phased array based on radio photons.” The project includes the creation of a special laboratory at concern enterprises, as well as the development of universal technology that will serve as the foundation for next-generation radar and electronic warfare systems.

According to the KRET CEO Nikolai Kolesov, the latest technology will make it possible to create effective and advanced next-generation receiver-transmitters, radar systems, electronic intelligence and electronic countermeasures by 2020.

One of the main areas of work will be the creation of a next-generation active phased array antenna, whose basic elements will be created using the principles of radio photonics. This will reduce the weight of the apparatus 1.5-3 times, increase its reliability and efficiency up to 2-3 times, and raise the scanning speed and resolution dozens of times.


Some VERY important data points in the article:

1.) Electronics based on photonics will have decreased the need for ‘servers’ down to 1/100th the current level, and will increase the data transfer rate by 10 fold!

2.) When fully mature photonics will allow truck based radars to have the same power, resolution, and capability as massive OTH radars!

3.) KRET’s early work in radiophotonics (photonics based radars) are incredibly promising. Developments in the field while it’s in it’s infancy allows airborne radars (AEW while based on photonics) weight to be cut down 1/2 the current weight, and increased the resolution by 10 fold!

4.) Photonic based radars will have it’s ECM resistance grow by several orders of magnitude! Will be heavily resistant to electro-magnetic storms…

5.) By the 2020’s photonic based AESA radars will grow by leaps and bounds in capability. The weight of AESA radar will be cut down by 1.5 to 3 times, increase the reliability and efficiency by 2 to 3 times, and increase the scanning speed and resolution by several dozen times that of contemporary AESA radars!

6.) Photonics can also be effectively applied in housing, for example, in urban and rural heating systems. Instead of hot water energy photons will be used. They will be distributed in photonic crystal fibers with a thickness of human hair, the energy of which is converted into heat with almost 100% efficiency! (Source: magnumcromagnon/



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