Communications system for fighter planes, helicopters and aerial drones

Communications system for fighter planes, helicopters and aerial drones

Photo: Anton Tushin


The Federal Research and Development Center NPP Polet, which is a subsidiary of the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation​, has developed the new S-111 communication system, which can be equipped on any aircraft. It has also developed an integrated antenna-feeder system for the 5th generation T-50 fighter.

The new systems significantly improve the quality of aeronautical communications, and they lower the radar signature of an aircraft by a factor of several times. They can also be used on various types of aircraft, including Ka-52 Alligator helicopters. 

Alexander Yakunin, CEO of the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation, said: "The technical specifications of the S-111 system are fundamentally different from all previous developments. They allow aircraft to rapidly obtain information during all stages of flight and in all combat situations. This is a new level of performance. Packet switching of data in digital form, broadband radio communications channels, and new methods of counteracting obstacles in order to increase the range and quality of communication are used in order to implement these performance characteristics.

The S-111 system allows aircraft to rapidly obtain information during all stages of flight and in all combat situations. This is a new level of performance.

Alexander Yakunin, CEO of United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation

The developers claim that the S-111 is in no way inferior to modern foreign counterparts, and in some respects it is superior to them. The system is capable of transmitting large amounts of information (voice, video, and data from transponders and surveillance cameras) over centimetric-band radar within a squadron of planes in real time. Transmission speed can reach up to 34.3 Mbit/s.

The communications system has a fully digital open architecture. The reprogrammable platform is able to store and record various operating procedures. Previously, these functions were performed only at the hardware level using separate products.

The modular principle behind the S-111 system allows for increasing the number of channels and the number of performed functions. It also allows the system to be installed on any aircraft, including helicopters (Mi-28NM, Ka-50, Ka-52, Ka-62, and PSV), military transport aircraft (Il-76, Il-112, An-124, and PAK VTA) fighter and tactical aircraft (T-50, MiG-31, and Su-34), long-range aircraft (Tu-22M3M, Tu-160M, and PAK DA) and different classes of aerial drones.

CEO of NPP Polet Alexander Komyakov stated: "The S-403-1 communications systems has already been modified to be installed on helicopters like the Ka-52 Alligator on the basis of the stated principles. Inter-agency testing of the S-403-1 will be conducted through the end of 2014. Currently, the company is preparing to produce these systems commercially. If a contract is concluded, the company is ready to deliver 158 communication systems to Progress Arsenyev Aircraft Works by 2020. Testing of the S-111 system for the T-50 fighter is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Afterwards, serial production will begin at our production facility."

Specialists at NPP Polet have also created integrated antenna-feeder systems for the T-50 fighter and Ka-52 helicopter. These systems help reduce the number of antennas and thus the radar signature of the aircraft by a several-fold factor.

Photo: Anton Tushin


"Currently all subsystems in the aircraft have their own antennas. There can be several dozen antennas on one aircraft. This significantly increases the radio signature as well as the cost and complexity of the system. The new generation antenna-feeder system that was developed by NPP Polet is able to combine antennas for various kinds of transceiver equipment (for communications, navigation, identification, etc.). It also allows the number of antenna devices to be minimized.  They are embedded in the fuselage shell, which is protected by a radar-transparent coating that reduces wind resistance and the radar signature of the aircraft at the same time," Alexey Komyakov explained.