Iraq was a high tech enemy? In what world?
The Iraqi IADS was a composite system which integrated European and Soviet search and acquisition radars, and a range of Soviet and European SAM and AAA systems, all tied together with a French built Kari C3 (Command/Control/Communications) network. While smaller than the now defunct Soviet system in central Europe (Western TVD), the system had a respectable capability and comparable if not higher density of SAM and AAA systems, with considerable redundancy in communications links and hardened C3 facilities.
Organisationally the IADS was split into three principal elements, a national fixed site strategic system using fighters and SA-2 and SA-3 systems covering key airfields and strategic air defence sites, operated by the Iraqi air force. This system was supplemented by Republican Guard operated SAM and AAA systems covering key nuclear, biological and chemical warfare facilities. Finally, the Iraqi army had its own mobile radar, SAM and AAA systems tasked with protecting both fixed sites and units in the field.
Geographically the national IADS was split into several large zones, in each of which were located central local C3 facilities, one or more large hardened airbases and a network of communications links to fixed radar and SAM sites. Control of the whole network was centred in hardened facilities in the vicinity of Baghdad. While microwave links were used extensively, these were backed up by landlines.
The structure of the system reflected the Soviet Air Defence Force (PVO) and Army Air Defence (PVO-SV) models respectively. The strategic air defences employed large GCI/EW (Ground Controlled Intercept/Early Warning) radars such as the Soviet P-35M and P-37 Bar Lock, which were used for wide area surveillance and early warning, these large MTI (Moving Target Indicator - ie low PRF) E/F (2.6-3 GHz) band systems being situated at key geographical locations to cover principal air bases and population centres.
Bar Lock systems employ a pair of trailer mounted truncated paraboloid reflectors, and have a range of the order of 120 NM, the whole antenna/trailer assembly rotating at 12 rpm for 360 degree scan with six stacked beams for approximate height finding. Where low level coverage is required, they are typically supplemented by a Side Net E-band nodding height finding radar.
The air force operated GCI/EW system formed the top tier of the IADS, supporting fighters with GCI vectors, but also datalinking early warning information down to individual SAM and AAA batteries.
These were in turn directly supported by a range of early warning and acquisition radars, mobile and relocatable, such as the Flat Face, Squat Eye and Spoon Rest. These acquisition radars played a key role in the IADS, as they provided precise tracking information to SAM systems. They would also, under proper operating conditions, remain off the air until a target was to be engaged, at which time they would light up, acquire and track the target and feed the target's parameters to the fire control radars associated with the SAM and AAA systems in use.
The P-15 Flat Face is a low PRF MTI radar which uses a pair of elliptical paraboloid antennas on a short mast above a trailer, operating in the B/C (UHF) band the radar is generally credited with respectable look down performance into clutter and good ECCM performance. As several late model units were captured by the Allies during the eighties, the Flat Face was wholly compromised. Reports of testing by the French suggested the radar had remarkably good performance for its class of system, and good ECCM.
The P-15 Flat Face was originally used by the Soviets to support the SA-3 Goa, but since they were reluctant to export their mobile Long Track acquisition radars to non-Warpac nations, the P-15 was largely substituted. The Flat Face was the principal Soviet mobile battlefield surveillance/acquisition radar in use in Iraq and is associated with grouped area defence batteries of SA-3, SA-6 and point defence batteries of SA-8, Roland, ZSU-23-4P, SA-9 and SA-13. Where low altitude coverage was required, the P-15M Squat Eye was used. The Squat Eye is a direct derivative of the P-15, using essentially the same hardware but with only a single antenna mounted at the top of a 100 ft mast.
A typical arrangement was to colocate a Flat Face and Squat Eye at a single site, both vans buried in revetments and covered with nets. The radar site would then provide high altitude coverage to the maximum range of the systems, and low level coverage limited by the height of the P-15M mast. Most acquisition radars were situated close to the targets covered by the area defence and point defence SAM systems which they were designated to support, and were often supplemented by height finding radars such as the Thin Skin, a truck or trailer mounted H-band nodding elliptical paraboloid system.
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