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Hammer and shield: Russia's modernised radar and early warning systems

Russian ABM radar coverage from long-range systems is shown in this screenshot from a news article on the main missile warning centre in Moscow posted by the Russian Ministry of Defence on 16 February 2022. (

The large-scale movement of Russian forces into positions near its border with Ukraine and into Belarus' territory included the Russian Armed Forces' latest air- and missile-defence capabilities, which have become a key component in its military doctrine after the significant modernisation of capabilities.

Following a brief period of restructuring in 1997, Russia's air defence forces were realigned to the legacy role of denying adversaries air superiority through strategic deterrence, as well as offering mobile support for ground elements, and maintaining anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) readiness. This has been achieved through an integrated and layered sensor network for air- and anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defence that operates across an extensive command-and-control (C2) infrastructure.

Command and conquer

The Federal System for Aerospace Reconnaissance and Control (FSASRC) (Russian: FSR KVP) is operated by the Russian Air Force Radio-Technical Troops (RTV VKS) and is key to the air and space defence of the Russian Federation. Established in 1994 by a presidential decree, the FSR KVP is a combination of interrelated forces, facilities, and systems that work to deliver a consolidated, comprehensive, and real-time picture of the air environment. The FSR KVP is able to draw on civilian air traffic control (ATC) radar, military air surveillance radar networks – including monitoring identification friend-or-foe (IFF) and aircraft transponders – and dual-purpose electronic intelligence (ELINT) stations.

The FSR KVP is a unified automated radar system that enables data exchange between civilian ATC and military air surveillance networks through a complex exchange for collection, processing, and distribution of data using the VIP-117M3 radar data pickup module.

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