Ranets E - High Power Microwave Directed Energy Weapon
The Ranets E is a High Power Microwave (HPM) weapon system intended to produce electrically lethal damage or disruption and dysfunction in opposing airborne systems, be they aircraft or guided munitions in flight. The system was first disclosed by Rosoboronexport in 2001, but little technical detail has been disclosed since then. The weapon uses an X-band pulsed 500 MegaWatt HPM source, generating 10 to 20 nanosecond pulses at a 500 Hz PRF, and average output power of 2.5 to 5 kiloWatts. The antenna is large enough to provide a gain of 45 to 50 dB in the X-band, for a total weapon weight of 5 tonnes. The weapon has been described as a "radio-frequency cannon" and Russian sources credit it with a lethal range of 20 miles against the electronic guidance systems of PGMs and aircraft avionic systems.
The cited lethal range figures are predicated on the assumption that the target is vulnerable to a field strength of the order of ~1.0 kiloVolt/m and the antenna has a gain between 45 and 50 dBi. If we assume target hardness for typical COTS electronics, the lethal radius is between 3.8 and 7.0 nautical miles, if the target hardness is greater, the lethal footprint is reduced accordingly. What is clear is that the Ranets E will be a credible electrically lethal weapon at ranges typical for a terminal point defence weapon weapon.
The product brochure for the weapon shows its deployment on the MAZ-7910 chassis using the 54K6 command post cabin to house the Ranets system, with an roof mounted turntable for the steerable parabolic antenna. Other lower quality illustrations (not reproduced) show the Ranets E vehicle linked via cables to a 85V6 Vega/Orion Emitter Locating System (ELS) used as the targeting element. In the absence of an integrated targeting system on the Ranets E - problematic due to the risk of fratricide as even sidelobes would be electrically lethal at short ranges - it is likely that an operational system would be remotely aimed by another asset. Other than an ELS a SAM system engagement radar with sufficient angular accuracy would be suitable.
The CONOPS for the system would involve attaching one or more Ranets E systems to a battery of SAMs and integrating them with the battery fire control system, such that the Ranets E systems would be cued, aimed and fired remotely. The APA illustration shows the system deployed on the MZKT-7930 chassis as that is the current production replacement for the original MAZ-7910.