Ukraine Develops New Targeting Systems

 - May 1, 2019, 4:35 AM
(left) PM-LKT (Photo: Photoprilav) and OPSN-I (Photo: UOP)

Ukraine’s State Defense Concern UkrOboronProm (UOP), in cooperation with Motor Sich and a number of other private enterprises, has developed two gyro-stabilized platforms for the guidance of the Bar’er-V guided missile for integratation onto the Mi-8/17/24, general director of UOP Pavlo Bukin announced late April during a visit to a Motor Sich facility in Zaporizhia, Ukraine.

The gyro-stabilized platform project is part of a comprehensive program to develop Ukraine’s attack/multi-purpose helicopter capability. UOP, as an integrator in the Ukrainian defense industry, plays a decisive role in implementing the program. “I am convinced that, in close cooperation with the UOP’s aviation cluster companies as well as with other private defense enterprises, it is possible to achieve high-quality results and create a reliable combat aircraft,” Bukin said.

Motor Sich is one of the world’s largest fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter engine manufacturers. It is the only company in Ukraine manufacturing fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft engines as well as industrial gas turbines.

The first of the gyro-stabilized platforms is the PM-LKT module. It was developed by the Photoprilad Research and Production Complex in Cherkasy, in central Ukraine. The PM-LKT module, which passed its state field trials in 2018, is intended to replace the currently employed 9C475 equipment on Mi-24 attack helicopters equipped with the Bar’er-V anti-armor missile. The PM-LKT module is designed to provide search, detection, identification, and target acquisition of main battle tanks or other types of armored vehicles. The laser designator’s range is 7.5 km (4.7 miles), similar to the maximum range of the Bar’er-V.

Bar’er-V is a 130-mm caliber, container-launched guided missile that weighs 47 kg (104 pounds). It has a tandem hollow-charge warhead with the ability to penetrate 800 mm (31.5 inches) of armor behind an explosive reactive armor protective system. Guidance is implemented by laser beam with target tracking in automatic mode, according to the manufacturer, Luch of Kiev.

The other gyro-stabilized platform is the OPSN-I new-generation optical targeting station developed by the Izyum Instrument-Making Plant. The OPSN-I—said to be capable of working under extreme conditions—is currently undergoing the first stage of trials. The company said that the system was developed according to NATO standards. The gyro-stabilized OPSN-I turret integrates five systems: two optical sensors, a thermal imager, a laser rangefinder, and a laser target designator. OPSN-I can be installed on helicopters, drones, armored vehicles, and ships. 

UOP sources said that the goal of the developers is to integrate both systems with fixed-wing attack aircraft. Analysts in Ukraine believe that the two systems will be integrated as a first step onto the Su-25 “Frogfoot” attack aircraft of the Ukrainian air force.