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S-300PMU2 Favorit

S-300PMU2 Favorit

Type: Surface -to- Air
Year: 1995
Range (km): 3- 200
Max. target speed (km/h): 10'000

    Favorit is now the world's most powerful and efficient air defense system.

    Efficient protection from air attacks is essential for any state. The past few years have proved this assertion more than once. The Persian Gulf war graphically demonstrated that modern air attack weapons are capable of independently fulfilling major strategic tasks and actually determining the outcome of a military conflict even before the beginning of ground operations by delivering blows to major enemy defense and industrial facilities. 
Such blows are characterized by the mass use of strategic and tactical aviation, cruise missiles and high-accuracy weapons in all possible conditions, including intensive active and passive jamming. This factor must be taken into account in developing and modernizing air defense systems. 

54K6E2 battle management center

The efficiency of modern air defense systems primarily depends on their ability to counter tactical missiles, above all Scud missiles which today are classified as non-strategic missiles. This task has been given top priority largely owing to the role Iraq's ballistic missiles played during the Gulf hostilities. 

On the day after an anti-Iraqi coalition launched its Operation Desert Storm, Iraq attacked the coalition with Scuds and their variants. Anticipating this development of events, the coalition command had, before the operation, deployed in the region the world's first local antimissile missile system, based on the United States' Patriot missile. 

Dozens of Iraqi Scuds fired at Israel and Saudi Arabia at night killed tens of peoples (among them 28 servicemen who were in barracks destroyed by one of the missiles) and injured several hundred people. For the so-called "hi-tech war" those were rather high figures. The much-publicized coalition missiles proved inefficient in combating Scuds because they failed to destroy them by exploding close to them. 

The Gulf war caused an increase in attention to the problem of anti-ballistic missile defense in all the major countries of the world, on the one hand, and prompted them to work out programs for developing or purchasing ballistic missiles, on the other. 

The names of such ballistic missiles as Jericho, No Dong, Taeno Dong, and Eastern Wind have only recently made it onto the pages of newspapers and magazines. To have a Scud of one's own today or in the next few years has for some countries become a matter of national prestige. 

64N6E2 acquisition radar

The obvious strategic gap in the range of armaments and military equipment in service with Western armed forces, which manifested itself so graphically during Operation Desert Storm, gave new impetus to the development of antimissile programs in the USA, France, Israel, and some other countries. The outcome of the Gulf war also largely determined the direction of the modernization of Russia's widely known S-300PMU1 air defense missile system, named Favorit. 

This system is the result of cooperation between industrial enterprises, research institutes, design bureaus, plants and financial structures grouped in the Oboronitelniye Sistemy (Defence Systems) Financial and Industrial Group. This group, which unites Russian businesses and all leading specialists currently developing and manufacturing air defense systems, ensures the high quality of these systems, the organization of their repairs and warranty maintenance, the production of spare parts and the training of specialists. 
Favorit was developed by the Almaz Central Design Bureau which has already created several generations of missile systems: from S-25 to S-300PMU1, most of which have been sold to dozens of countries around the world. 

What is the Favorit missile system? 

Favorit Characteristics
Target engagement range, km: 
- maximum  
- minimum 
Target engagement altitude, km: 
- maximum  
- minimum
Maximum target speed, km/h 10,000
Number of simultaneously engaged targets 36
Number of simultaneously guided missiles 72
Rate of fire, sec 3
Time of deployment, min 5

Essentially, this is a universal mobile multichannel air defense system. It is intended to ensure highly efficient protection of major government and defense facilities from mass strikes of modern and future aircraft, strategic cruise missiles, tactical and theater ballistic missiles and other airborne weapons. It functions within the full range of altitudes and speeds of targets' combat employment, including in heavy electronic countermeasures environments. 

The Favorit system comprises the 83M6E2 command post and up to six S-300PMU2 air defense missile systems. The command post consists of the 54K6E2 battle management center and the 64N6E2 acquisition radar. Each air defense missile system includes the 30N6E2 multifunctional illumination and guidance radar and up to 12 5P85SE (5P85TE) launchers. The S-300PMU2 system may also accommodate the 96L6E radar. 

The 54K6E2 battle management center collects and analyzes aerial situation data from various sources, exercises fire control, receives commands and information on air targets from the air defense zone command post, prioritizes threats, distributes targets among air defense missile complexes and designates the targets to be destroyed. The battle management center can control any combination of S-300PMU2, S-300PMU1, S-300PMU and S-200VE air defense missile systems. 

The fully-automatic 64N6E2 acquisition radar provides the command post with data on aerial targets within a range of 300 kilometers. 

30N6E2 multifunctional illumination and guidance radar

The multifunctional 30N6E2 illumination and guidance radar searches for, detects and automatically tracks targets and performs all operations involved in air defense missile attacks and in the preparations for them. 

The 5P85SE (5P85TE) launcher ensures the storage, transportation and launch of four 48N6E2 (48N6E) air defense missiles, kept in sealed canisters. 

The 96L6E all-altitude phased-array target designation radar, included in the S-300PMU2 air defense system, automatically supplies air situation data to the 30N6E2 illumination and guidance radar and the 83M6E2 command post. Owing to the adaptive use of wide band signals and multiple frequency operation, the radar ensures highly efficient detection of targets at low, medium and high altitudes. The radar antenna assembly can be mounted on a special tower for detecting targets at extremely low altitudes in wooded areas and over rugged terrain. 

During operation, Favorit's acquisition and illumination and guidance radar simultaneously scan the air space, detecting and identifying aerial targets. The simultaneous scanning of the air space by several radars completely denies targets any access to a protected zone, including ground-hugging cruise missiles flying at extremely low altitudes from any direction, even in conditions of intensive reflections from local objects and deployment of electronic countermeasures by the enemy. 

Outwardly, Favorit does not differ much from its predecessors. Nevertheless, it is not simply a modernized version but basically a new air defense system. Compared to the 

S-300PMU1 system, Favorit has several new capabilities: 
- increased effectiveness of ballistic target destruction, ensuring the detonation of a military load carried by the target; 
- increased effectiveness of aerodynamic target engagement, including targets flying at low altitudes, in complicated tactical and jamming environments; 
- an increased range of aerodynamic target engagement (up to 200 kilometers), including the engagement of receding targets; 
- an increased capability of the 83M6E command post of detecting and tracking ballistic targets, while preserving the aerodynamic target detection capabilities; 
- enhanced performance of the system during autonomous combat operations due to the use of the 96L6E self-contained, next-generation radar; 
- enhanced possibilities for integrating Favorit into various air defense systems. 

Another marked advantage of the Favorit system is that all its components can remain on alert for a long time, which is of particular importance in a period prior to a military conflict. The technical capabilities of Favorit components ensure their uninterrupted operation in high alert conditions for two days and over a longer period for shorter intervals. 

The Favorit system may include not only 48N6E2 air defense missiles but also 48N6E missiles which are currently used in S-300PMU1 systems. 

The 48N6E2 air defense guided missile was developed by the Fakel Machine-Building Design Bureau, which has for decades been the main producer of missiles for the air defense systems of Russia's Army and Navy. 

The development of the new missile, which began in the early 1990s, required numerous calculations and tests, during which the missile demonstrated its capability to intercept targets at a range of 200 kilometers and the required efficiency in destroying various kinds of targets. The missile system includes all the components of the S-300PMU1 system, among them transport and launch canisters, launcher and all ground servicing facilities. 

The 48N6E2 missile has retained all the attractive qualities of air defense missiles developed by Fakel for the S-300PMU systems, such as cold vertical launch by a catapult and advanced technologies used in the production of missile elements. 

5P85SE launcher with 48N6E2 missiles in canisters

The new missile also boasts enhanced reliability and ease of repair and maintenance. In present-day conditions, this factor is as important as flight characteristics. Although the Favorit system is a multi-component weapon, target-destruction depends primarily on the air defense missile, on its reliability and capability of efficiently fulfilling guidance commands in heavy jamming, high-speed and overload environments. 

The Fakel Design Bureau has implemented in practice the principle of guaranteed reliability of missiles, which has added a basically new quality to them: the possibility of their test-free service in the Army for a long warranty period. This goal was achieved via the use of a set of technologies, among them the full cycle of ground missile tests on Fakel test beds. Missiles are tested in transportation, storage, alert and even target-approaching modes in climatic and anechoic chambers, on dynamic and static test beds, and on shakers. 

Other innovations used in the 48N6E2 missile include the use of fundamentally new guidance algorithms, more advantageous flight trajectories and new military loads. The development of the missile proceeded in several directions simultaneously and lasted several years. Fakel specialists selected the prototype which showed overwhelming advantages over others both in ground and flight tests. 

The combat capabilities of the new system were first tested on August 10, 1995, on the Kapustin Yar testing range in an encounter with Scud ballistic missiles. Several 48N6E2 missiles were launched to intercept Scuds. During the interception, the explosion of the air defense missiles' military load detonated the high-explosive charge of the ballistic missiles. Russian scientists and specialists were the first in the world to achieve so remarkable a result. The best achievement of Patriot missiles during Operation Desert Storm was the interception of Scud missiles after which the latter deviated from the termination point by four to five kilometers. Throughout the Gulf war, Patriots never managed to destroy a single Scud missile in the air. 

According to the Air Defense Forces command, Favorit is now the world's most powerful and efficient air defense system. In conditions of limited funding, the reform of the Army and the forthcoming merger of services in the Armed Forces, the use of Favorit as an inter-service system will increase the efficiency of Russia's air defense with minimum cost. 

The development of the Favorit air defense system marks the emergence in Russia of a system capable of effectively countering strikes of "non-strategic missiles."

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