The “early target designation radar” discussed here has been developed by a consortium formed by PIT-RADWAR (leader), and the Military University of Technology (WAT), within the framework of the project entitled “Development of a P-18PL Early Target Designation Radar Prototype, Working in the Meter Band Range, with a 2D Phased Array, for SAM systems”. The total value of that project is estimated as more than PLN 54 million. 46 million zlotys of that funding has been provided by the National Centre for Research and Development.
P-18PL is a long-range radar that is being developed within the framework of a project co-financed by the National Centre for Research and Development. It can detect both conventional air threats, including ones with low RCS, but it can also detect ballistic targets. It can be used both as a surveillance early detection radar for the SAM systems, as well as a source of information on air picture, for the IADS. P-18PL can also work in a passive mode, utilizing radar signals emitted by other radars.
The meter band frequency range adopted for this radar translates into its greater capabilities within the scope of detecting low-RCS threats. Radar as such is also a greater challenge for anti-radiation missiles. It is expected that the P-18PL radars would be used for the preliminary designation of targets for the Wisła and Narew air defence systems. Ultimately, these radars would be integrated directly within the IBCS module used by those systems, and data fed from these sensors will be usable even in the engagement control process.
At the same time, the P-18PL will also be usable as early detection sensors even before the IBCS integration happens. Here, the data would be transferred via the Link 16 and JREAP-C networks. The P-18PL is a mobile sensor, which greatly enhances its survivability. The use of early detection radars (active P-18PL and passive SPL/PET-PCL sensors) would constitute a major enhancement of the capabilities of the Polish Wisła and Narew systems.
During the last edition of the Defence24 DAY it was announced, that during the tests of the radar, it was used to track ballistic missiles flying over Ukraine.