Help From Uncle Sam
If you are a regular reader of SOFREP (and we hope you are), you probably already know the US has fast-tracked a second $800 million military aid package to Ukraine. But, in this writer’s opinion, it can’t get there fast enough.
Two AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel Air Surveillance Radar systems are included in that aid package. Why only two? It could be because their estimated cost is $70 million each.
Simply put, the AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel is a radar system that alerts front-line air-defense weapons whenever it sees hostile planes, helicopters, drones, or missiles. It’s a three-dimensional radar, meaning it reports the range, bearing, and elevation of the objects it is tracking.
In particular, the Enhanced Sentinel radar uses an X-Band 360-degree phased array air-defense radar with a 46-mile range. It is used to alert and cue short-range air defense (SHORAD) weapons to the locations of hostile targets approaching them. Sentinels are typically deployed with forward-area air defense units.
They have electronic counter-counter-measure capabilities, a Mode 5 identification friend or foe subsystem, and non-cooperative target recognition capabilities to identify threat aircraft. Sentinel, its generator, and command-and-control interface mount on a trailer that an M1082 truck can pull. Due to its relatively light weight, 3,900 lbs, it can be airlifted by helicopter and easily be put on rooftops or specially built towers for elevated radar coverage.
It is also very small relative to what it does and is therefore highly mobile and concealable which is very important on a modern battlefield
This short video shows members of the 10th Mountain Division employing Sentinel Radar to identify simulated incoming threats and teach friendly forces how to defeat similar enemy systems. Video courtesy of YouTube and the US Army 10th Mountain Division.
Taken From Ivan
While we are helping out the Ukrainians with two different defensive radar systems in this latest round of military aid, one can never have enough protection from incoming threats. With this in mind, Ukrainian forces have also helped themselves out a great deal by capturing sophisticated Russian radar-equipped air defense command posts such as the Barnaul-T seen in the tweet below.
This particular unit was captured during a counteroffensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region of Ukraine. These vehicles are intended to serve as a sensor, command and control, and communications node all rolled into one. Their loss is a significant blow to Russian forces. The Ukrainian military is trained in the use of this equipment and immediately put it to use against their enemy.
To date, Ukrainian forces have commandeered at least three of these Barnaul-T variants. All of them were immediately put back into service against their original owners.
As far as Russian equipment goes, the technology is relatively new, first being put into service in 2009. It’s designed to work with multiple SHORAD systems and is mobile enough to keep up with advancing ground forces. These units, when put into service with the American AN/MPQ-64, will provide the Ukrainians with modern and highly automated radar systems capable of identifying and engaging a variety of threats in the field of combat.