|NIIP's Byelka AESA radar for the Su-57 on display at the 2009 MAKS airshow|
|Role||X-Band, L-Band active electronically scanned array|
|Primary user||Russian Air Force|
N036 Byelka (Russian : Белка, literally Squirrel) is an advanced active electronically scanned array radar system developed by Tikhomirov NIIP for the fifth generation Sukhoi Su-57 fighter aircraft.
The radar is a part of Sh121 multifunctional integrated radio electronic system (MIRES) onboard the Su-57. The N036 radar system is developed by Tikhomirov NIIP Institute and consists of a main nose-mounted X-band AESA radar with 1,552 T/R modules, designated the N036-1-01,and two smaller X-band AESA radars with 358 T/R modules mounted on the sides of the forward fuselage designated N036B-1-01. The suite also has two N036L-1-01 L-band arrays on the wing's leading edge extensions that are not only used for friend-or-foe identification but also for electronic warfare purposes. Computer processing of the X- and L-band signals enable the systems information to be significantly enhanced. It has the ability to track 62 targets and shoot 16 targets in the air simultaneously, or engage up to four targets on land at the same time. The L402 "Himalayas" electronic countermeasures (ECM) suite made by the KNIRTI institute uses both its own arrays and that of the N036 radar.
An airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system is an airborne radar picket system designed to detect aircraft, ships and vehicles at long ranges and perform command and control of the battlespace in an air engagement by directing fighter and attack aircraft strikes. AEW&C units are also used to carry out surveillance, including over ground targets and frequently perform C2BM functions similar to an Air Traffic Controller given military command over other forces. When used at altitude, the radar on the aircraft allows the operators to detect and track targets and distinguish between friendly and hostile aircraft much farther away than a similar ground-based radar. Like a ground-based radar, it can be detected by opposing forces, but because of its mobility and extended sensor range, it is much less vulnerable to counter-attacks.
An active electronically scanned array (AESA) is a type of phased array antenna, which is a computer-controlled array antenna in which the beam of radio waves can be electronically steered to point in different directions without moving the antenna. In the AESA, each antenna element is connected to a small solid-state transmit/receive module (TRM) under the control of a computer, which performs the functions of a transmitter and/or receiver for the antenna. This contrasts with a passive electronically scanned array (PESA), in which all the antenna elements are connected to a single transmitter and/or receiver through phase shifters under the control of the computer. AESA's main use is in radar, and these are known as active phased array radar (APAR).
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