MILEX 2019: Belarus Introduces New UAS and EW Jammers

 - May 20, 2019, 10:45 AM
Belarus officials inspect the Grach UAS, which can carry light weapons. (Photo: Milex/Belexpo)

At the MILEX 2019 defense industry exhibition held in Minsk from May 15 to 18, Belarus introduced the Grach, a light multi-purpose unmanned aircraft system (UAS). It is a multicopter capable of conducting reconnaissance missions with sensors or small-scale armed attacks against troops and other soft-skinned targets with free-fall ordnance.

With a payload capacity of less than 10 pounds, the UAS can drop four hand grenades, a small incendiary bomb, or a PTAB-2.5 anti-tank bomb. It can approach as near as 20 meters (60 feet) to its target before its motor becomes audible, claims the manufacturer-developer, KB Radar Design Bureau.

A new handheld radio-electronic warfare/jammer system from KB Radar was unveiled at MILEX. Weighing 6.5 kg (14 pounds) the battery-powered Groza-R2 is a development of the 18-kg Groza-R, with an effective range of more than 3,000 meters (9,000 feet). This was introduced during the 2017 IDEX show in Abu Dhabi. Following feedback from the military and the security services that they would favor a smaller, lighter, handheld version—albeit with reduced range—KB Radar Design Bureau developed the Groza-R2. Company sources at KB Radar said that a newer version of the system is under development. It is being adapted to urban warfare conditions and the protection of sensitive buildings against attacks by single and swarming UASs.

The Groza-R2 handheld C-UAS jammer is seen with its carriage/storage container. (Photo: KB Radar)

The Groza family of jammer transmitters is mostly intended for use against mass-produced, cheaper drones that pose a security threat to sensitive buildings, installations, and events. The guaranteed jamming range (against both satellite radio navigation and UAS control channels) is approximately 500 meters. Covered command and control (C2) frequency bands are in the range of 2.4 to 2.480 GHz and 5.725 to 5.850 GHz. Groza-R2 is capable of suppressing the UAS’s onboard GPS and Glonass satellite navigation systems. The frequency band of satellite radio navigation systems covered is 1.57 to 1.61GHz. Continuous jamming (radiation) time is 30 minutes.

There is a modification of the Groza family (Groza-O) integrated on a quadcopter and equipped with sensors and a camcorder. Sensors detect the location of the operator of the adversary’s drone(s) and the camcorder records it while supporting countermeasures to neutralize operator. Range of the quadcopter-mounted device is over 2,000 meters. It is used mainly by the military and special services.

On May 17, on the fringes of the MILEX 2019 show, a special session was held devoted to electronic warfare/jamming/surveillance unmanned aerial systems (UAS), as well as upgraded air defense assets, including systems mounted on Belarusian-made special vehicles. Exhibiting at the show were relevant Belarusian companies, including Agat-Control Systems OJSC, KB Radar, Belspetstechnika, 2566 Radio-electronic Armament Repair Plant, and the OKB TSP Scientific Production. The latter is an umbrella organization, established in 2002, that conducts scientific research, design, development, modernization, and production of different weapons systems, integrated navigation systems, sensors, and digital signal processing equipment.