Figure, at least, not fun — the missing missiles could appear anywhere and anytime. In this case, the word "anything" in this case refers to a very unreliable characters. Also do not forget that MANPADS could be used not only in military conflicts, and against civilian aircraft. In this case, it is unlikely the victims will do without — even complete with a special anti-military aircraft can not always get away from the anti-aircraft missile attack: most of the downed in Afghanistan, Su-25, for example, went to the expense of missiles "Stinger". In the journal Journal of Electronic Defense at the time, even bitterly joked about it: "What is it, a longish, thin, hot as hell and flies twice faster sound? 5 seconds for a response. For the correct relies most expensive prize — life. " What did read about airplanes. Yet, the production on a portable anti-air defense system and is constantly improving.
Virtually all modern MANPADS, with very few exceptions, have an infrared homing (IKGSN). Such a choice is due to the comparative cheapness IKGSN and its compactness. Besides, unlike the radar head infrared requests less power and does not require large languid batteries. So Makar, to combat MANPADS systems rather infrared countermeasures.
The most common of their type — thermal wrong target (LTC), they are the same thermal trap. LTC is a small box with a flammable liquid, or simply checkers out of it. In the case of threat to aircraft fires them from special launchers. Flak rocket "Sees" the LTC, hotter than the emission engines aircraft / helicopter and retarget it. Trap after ejection out of the side of the aircraft and thus withdraws it from the rocket. Inexpensive and easy. But with LTC over time learned to fight. How exactly — later.
Second version of the fight with infrared guidance systems — the station electro-optical interference (SOEP). They did not shoot, but work more perfectly. Working element SOEP looks after image: the body of the aircraft located the typical flashlight. Inside it has an infra-red lamp power and the respective spinning reflector-breaker, almost like a car emergency lights, but with a more complex configuration of the slots. By the rotation of the chopper radiation in the infrared lamps "looks" for the missile as well as radiation motor. So Makar, the missile "sees" no one malehankih spot motor, and a giant flare in the entire field of view. As a result, rocket loses its purpose goes away and after a period of self-destructing. With such systems, developers missiles also learned to understand, but before they were quite effective — from 563 "Stingers", issued by the Mi-24 helicopters to Afghanistan, its goal have gained a total of 18. In this case, none of these missiles do not hit the helicopter in the higher part, where he was a emitter SOEP "Lipa".
In the development of MANPADS have developed new materials for the detection node. The process has to move the workspace range heads: they used to work at a wavelength of 1.3 microns, now have about 3-5 microns. Shift work area was made for a reason. In the middle of the observed infrared radiation from a massive engines of aircraft. Besides radiation with a wavelength of 3-5 microns in almost all cases is seen from all angles and less prone damping or clogging of the interference. Also new IKGSN steel equip cooling systems (first watery nitrogen), for increasing the efficiency of the total head and to reduce thermal noise. All these measures have allowed to launch all-aspect, also increment capture target range. To MANPADS, Makar so, very likely range target lock was about 10 km, and for missiles "air-to-air" — even more. However, the 10 km for portable SAM systems all the same in a certain sort of "laboratory" figure for their respective state required conditions. Yet, it has been a breakthrough in the art.
To counter the new LTC MANPADS have the smallest field of view, and some electrical "skills". Reduction of sight missiles were produced from the following statements: LTC, though, and outputs a signal strong enough swiftly flies away from the aircraft / helicopter. Accordingly, if the tilt down IKGSN, then provided the target lock screw wrong target will glow is outside the field of view IKGSN and become its "confusing". At the same time, the seeker with the smallest angle has great chances of losing objective when making its active anti-missile maneuvers, and of the new LTC steel strike faster, closer to the plane. The solution to this difficulty was the introduction of more IKGSN 1st detector circuit. In this second circuit operates to radiation with a short wavelength of 1-2 microns and the first as previously uses range 3-5 microns. Most of the aircraft have a weak signal with a rather short wavelengths, respectively, by comparing the signals from both sensors, IKGSN can find exactly what she sees — plane or heat trap.
Last system may also counteract and SOEP, because aircraft engine emits a wider spectrum than the system noise. Developers SOEP, in turn, began to think hard to improve their own products. My first thought was to install a massive radiator on the turret — in this case it was possible to protect the aircraft from missiles, soaring virtually from all directions. However, the development in this direction have risen due to the lack of the respective emitter: available only worked in a desired range, but a 2-descent. In different countries, there were projects turret SOEP with the introduction of the laser as a radiation source, but much of this work has been curtailed for the complexity, and even hopelessness.
Yet, in the fall of 2011 successfully completed tests of the Russian-Spanish system MANTA (MANpads Threat Avoidance — «MANPADS Threat Protection"), developed by the Spanish company Indra Systemas SA and Samara FSUE "Screen". The main element of MANTA — laser jammer ALJS.
The process of the system then looks as follows: type sensors record the MWS start anti-aircraft missiles and transmit it to the angular coordinates to the computer unit. Further computer with optical-mechanical unit tracks down movement missiles and laser brings to her. When appropriate, the calculator gives the command to switch the laser, because of what happens IKGSN illumination rockets, and the latter can no longer continue the attack.
All of the acts are performed automatically, the crew of the aircraft involved in its work as observers only: during the attack in the cockpit lit the lamp, respectively. The complex MANTA includes two stations ALJS — to cover up the aircraft with 2-hemispheres.
In the conceptual nuance MANTA like turrets SOEP, but on the Russian-Spanish system instead of large and languid turrets used small-sized low-inertia mechanics. In 1-x, it reduces the size and weight of the system, which is important for small and medium-sized aircraft, and in-2, reduces reaction time and increases the danger of oppression missile capability. As a "combat" element MANTA was elected repetitively pulsed electric-discharge laser type HF-DF, able to exude the IR signal in a wide range, typical of aircraft (1-5 micron wavelength). MANTA system power by using native of aircraft systems — it needed unchanging current (28V) and three-phase AC (115/200V, 400 Hz). Temperature conditions of the installation is ensured selection of warm air from the air conditioning system.
Recently, the work will be started on certification MANTA, because This system is positioned developers as a means of self-defense for civilian aircraft. Thus, if the MANTA go to a series, it will be the first non-military purpose SOEP.
Recall civilian aircraft, despite the obvious need for funds infrared countermeasures are not equipped with them on the subsequent reasons:
— LTC dangerous for ground buildings, green spaces, etc. MANPADS are more effective in the range of heights of about 100-600 meters, respectively unburned heat trap can fall to the ground and cause a fire.
— "Classic" SOEP with lamp and chopper have insufficient power of radiation to the same creators of civilian aircraft turning on IR their creations less than the designers of the military. As a result, non-directional light bulb SOEP can not score emission engines.
Maybe if MANTA will expect success, there will be a similar system, and most of the civilian aircraft, as well as the military, will be equipped with the equipment in order to avoid attacks MANPADS. So Makar, those five thousand missiles missing from Libyan warehouses and fallen into the wrong hands, fail to make mischief.