A radar that is able to track targets at ranges of over 3,000 km has been activated within the Russian air defense system on Dec. 2, 2013.
The Kolkino radar station, using the first modernized 29B6 radar, is able to track aerial targets flying as far aways as Denmark. Earlier the radar had a research role only, and even if full operational capability is expected within 2 years, the new system is already keeping an eye on what flies west of the Russian border.
Another 29B6 radar should be installed in the far eastern Russian territories, achieving operational status in 2018.
The radar is made of 150 antenna masts, data transmission systems, transmitters and receivers, power station and control building. The peculiarity of the system is that it is able to detect both high altitude targets, such as ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles), as well as low altitude flying air traffic, at very long distances, well beyond the line of sight.
Based on the Russian claims reported by Defence24.pl, any aircraft with a radar cross section comparable to the one of a Cessna light plane would be detected by the new radar, even if it is flying at low altitude. Even a fighter jet taking-off in the Netherlands could be seen by the new surveillance station!
Provided technical specifications will be confirmed, Russia will soon be able to monitor almost everything flying over eastern Europe, and beyond.
Jacek Siminski for TheAviationist