US plans to obtain full-size replica of Russian S-300 system to learn its secrets

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The US Air Force is looking for offers to meet its requirement to obtain full-size models of the Russian S-300PMU air defense system.

In a US Government publication, the former US Air Force Material Command announced that the Operational Support Center is conducting market research to determine the supposed availability, interest and capacity of potential sources able to compete for a contract to provide two models of the Russian S-300PMU or SA-20 (NATO designation) system for use during training.

“Availability, interest, and capability of potential business sources qualified and able to compete for a contract to provide two realistic launchers,” the note said.

“Headquarters, Utah Test and Training Range require a vendor to manufacture two high-fidelity SA-20 Transport/Erector/Launcher (TEL) surrogates for use on the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR),” an Air Force Materiel Command notice states.

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There are also requests to “replicate the physical threat representative multispectral signatures located near the radar signal” and existing replica images of the 8×8 MAZ-7910 vehicle chassis-based version.

“High-fidelity surrogates are necessary to provide training of cognitive skills to live air crews,” AFMC’s contracting announcement explained. “New advancements in technology require these surrogates to be signature accurate to assist in training.”

There is no requirement for the mock TELs to be mobile themselves, with the contracting notice very clearly outlining a requirement that two personnel be able to make them ready for transport to any location within the UTTR within 30 minutes. After arriving, two individuals must be able to set them up within 30 minutes, Sputnik explained.

The surrogate TELs could help the Air Force simulate a more complete S-300PMU-1/2 system within the UTTR without the difficulty and expense of acquiring and maintaining actual examples, adding valuable extra realism to any testing to evaluate the performance of sensors. However, the contracting documents do not say that the mock TELs are supposed to reflect any particular potential opponent or threat environment, the Sputnik report continued.

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