In a notice uploaded on the U.S. government’s main contracting website in August, the Air Force Materiel Command declared the Air Force Sustainment Center Operating Location Ogden of Hill AFB is conducting market research to find out the availability, interest, and functionality of potential business sources certified and able to compete for a contract to give two realistic launcher mock-up of Russian-built S-300PMU systems.
“Headquarters, Utah Test and Training Range require a vendor to make two high-fidelity SA-20 Transport or Erector or Launcher (TEL) surrogates to be used on the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR),” an Air Force Materiel Command notice reads.
To assist in the Air Combat Command request to “replicate the physical threat representative multi-spectral signatures situated in close proximity to the radar signal emitter,” threat representatives must be present. While threat radars are available on United States test ranges for sensor and weapons trial, they’re costly to maintain, operate, and replace.
The development of high-fidelity surrogates is an effort to offer a less expensive, signature representative target that can represent the actual radars.
High-fidelity surrogates are obligatory to give training of cognitive abilities to live aircrews. New developments in technology require these surrogates to be signature accurate to support in practice.
Without knowing the capabilities of the latest plane sensors and radar systems, one must compromise between signature constancy, related prices, and training effectiveness to develop surrogates.
A preliminary evaluation of the training setting suggests that a surrogate with these capabilities will provide proper training.
Currently, the S-300PMU air defense systems are administered by Russia, Syria, Iran, China, and other nations.