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Arms and Security 2019: Ukraine's Radionix presents complete modernisation package for Russian platforms

Ukraine's Radionix presented a full spectrum of options for modernising Russian-made fighter aircraft and air-defence systems during the 8–11 October Arms and Security expo in Kiev. The options that the company offers would enable countries still operating the Mikoyan MiG-29 or Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 models “to carry out a complete upgrade of their air force”, said one of the senior engineering executives.

According to Radionix, MiG-29 and other Russian aircraft now in operation with former Soviet/Warsaw Pact states have not been upgraded much beyond being made NATO compatible or receiving cockpit upgrades.

“Almost none of these modernisation programmes have extended the range of the aircraft’s radar or improved the range of the missiles,” said a company design engineer. “In order for the aircraft to be survivable in a modern air war scenario, those Soviet-era systems have to be significantly enhanced. Otherwise it is not much of a ‘modernisation’.”

What the company also emphasises as its primary strength is that it does not require the assistance of Russian industry to carry out these modifications. This gives any country that adopts a Radionix upgrade autonomy from Russian suppliers, which are increasingly difficult to work with due to sanctions and other banking and trade embargoes imposed on Moscow.

Radionix offers three main upgrade options: a new radar designated the Esmerelda that would replace the Phazotron N019 model installed in the MiG-29 and the NIIP N001 in the Su-27; a new-generation electronic warfare system, the Omut-KM, that can be fitted to the aircraft internally or in an external pod; and a range of new seeker heads that can be retrofitted to Vympel R-27 (AA-10) air-to-air missiles (AAMs).

The Ukrainian Radionix X-band active radar-homing seeker for the R-27 AAM. (Reuben Johnson)

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