Russia Rolls Out New Artillery Reconnaissance & Command and Control Assets

Russia presented the counter-battery system, which allows detecting hostile artillery positions at a distance of up to 38 km, to determine coordinates, and then, using automated fire control means, engage in the shortest possible time. The system includes the Penicillin automated acoustic-thermal artillery reconnaissance system and the Tablet-A artillery command and control system. The new system was launched during the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY- 2023.

 The mobile Penicillin system records acoustic and thermal signals from artillery shots and shell explosions, and then marks them on a digital map. The integrated Tablet-A system processes the received data, calculates firing settings and transmits it to the guns for subsequent suppression of enemy artillery.

Developed by the Research Institute Vektor (subsidiary of Rostec), the 1B75E Penicillin mobile automated acoustic-thermal artillery reconnaissance system is designed for reconnaissance of firing positions of guns, mortars, multiple launch rocket systems and launch positions of anti-aircraft and tactical missiles with simultaneous provision for own artillery fire.  The system, in particular, receives and processes acoustic signals, thermal imaging information from shots and explosions, from flying artillery shells, mines, rockets and missiles. The system can provide support for both Russian and foreign produced firing of artillery systems and MRLs.

The Penicillin is a passive reconnaissance system. Unlike most analogues, it does not operate on the radiolocation principles, but combines thermal and acoustic reconnaissance. The time to determine the coordinates of artillery positions does not exceed a minute. Not being a radio-emitting system, the Penicillin conducts reconnaissance, while remaining invisible to enemy electronic warfare systems.

The main purpose of the Tablet-A artillery fire control system, created by VNII Signal (subsidiary of Rostec’s High-Precision Systems holding company) is an automated fire control of towed and self-propelled artillery, mortars and MRLs. The system can be adapted by any artillery unit, including a mixed type one. The Tablet-A dramatically reduces the time from getting target designation to hitting the target.

According to the Russian military publication “Military Industrial Complex of the Russian Federation” (OPK RF), for communications a closed satellite system is used with high data transmission speed and reliable protection, which significantly impacts the efficiency of command and control.

“Among the latest additional options are the following: an expanded list of ammunition, a significantly simplified algorithm for the operator’s work, a reduced number of actions required to open fire after receiving a task. Also important is expanding the range of objects with which the system can interact within the reconnaissance and fire cycles, and reducing the time for hardware and software integration of the system into them. In general, the innovative Tablet-A has become faster and more reliable”.

A further step in the development of this area was the creation by specialists of the VNII Signal of the Tablet-A system on an armored chassis.

The use of the new counter-battery system significantly increases combat efficiency of artillery, its camouflaging features, and, ultimately, saves own equipment and personnel. Due to innovative technologies even legacy artillery systems howitzers in combination with reconnaissance and control equipment can actually become modern high-precision artillery systems.

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