A subsidiary of the Russian Electronics Holding Company (itself a subsidiary of Rostec) has developed a ferrite fiber designed for protecting the electronics of armored vehicles, air defense missile systems and aircraft against enemy electronic warfare (EW) systems, according to the Izvestia daily.
According to the holding company’s director general, Igor Kozlov, a unique material, featuring a low specific weight and a high flexibility and capable of fully absorbing EW emissions and absorbing the omnidirectional radiation of friendly electronic devices, on which precision-guided munitions (PGM) may home in, has been developed in Russia.
“Our fiber may be compared to suiting fabric or thick woolen cloth in certain products,” Kozlov said. “Its ability to absorb electromagnetic radiation is on a par with that of heavier and bulkier analogs used in radio electronics for shielding against electromagnetic weapons and preventing friendly materiel from being given away by its electromagnetic emission.”
Ferrit-Domen JSC, which has developed the material, says the fiber is unique because nobody anywhere in the world, including Russia, has ever developed a material with such a low specific weight and such high absorbing properties. The ferrite fabric protects against 0.5-50GHz electromagnetic radiation. It reduces the electromagnetic field of the vehicle it equips down to 10-30dB (radiation reflected by the material) and 100dB (radiation that passed through the material). This allows making both static and moving objects in battle virtually invisible to PGMs homing in on the target’s thermal, infrared or electromagnetic signatures.
According to Kozlov, the ferrite fiber allows the stability of electronic equipment ranging from the smartphone in a soldier’s hand to the target acquisition and missile guidance radar of the S-500 surface-to-air missile system. Kozlov emphasized that in terms of properties, the advanced material can be used for protecting both ground- and ship-based electronic devices.
The protection it will provide implies not only shielding against electromagnetic attacks, but camouflaging against radar as well, e.g. camouflaging the defensive hardware or ground-based attack groups – covering Armata tanks with radar-scattering sheets. The advanced material also ensures health protection for high-voltage level facility personnel in the ultra-wide band. The material is fit for use in medicine – in areas where diagnostic, therapeutic and decontaminating electronic equipment is operated.
According to expert Sergei Suvorov, camouflaging combat vehicles in battle is high on the priority list of advanced materiel development. It is all the more so now that there are electromagnetic fields generated by the intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), target designation and communications systems in addition to the thermal signature of the engines.
All latest antitank weapons are based on the principle of seeking for and classifying targets by means of their electromagnetic emissions, Suvorov explained. The same principle underlies up-to-date electronic countermeasures systems.
The Armata or any other high-tech combat vehicle chock-full of ISR, target designation and communications gear will be no exception, unless protected, the expert explained, according to the Izvestia daily.