They called it Penicillin and it is a Russian reconnaissance complex that is capable of revealing the positions of the artillery of the Ukrainian armed forces.
To show it to the press, this time, no leaks of information, no! The Russian Ministry of Defense did so directly, in a specific press conference on February 4th. In fact, Russia is not only engaged in a conflict with Ukraine but has become a major player in the sale of weapons systems, bullets, drones and everything that comes to mind regarding weapons.
The Ministry told and showed how, with the help of the modern artillery reconnaissance complex “Penicillin”, artillery positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces are discovered in the zone of Ukrainian operations. And he specified that artillery reconnaissance officers are working in the direction of Kup”jans’k. “The combat work of the sound measurement complex consists in analyzing sound waves coming from hits of various artillery and mortar pieces Ukrainians arriving at special remote sound-collecting devices. Thanks to the high sensitivity of the sensors, the combat vehicle is able to detect the sound of an artillery shell at a distance of up to 50 kilometers,” the military department said . And he added that the complex’s passivity in radio emissions reduces the likelihood of it being detected by Ukrainian radio equipment.
The Ministry of Defense explained that “thanks to the territorial separation of the sensors and their correct positioning, the IT support of a combat vehicle is able to precisely determine the coordinates of the enemy gun. Receiving and processing data with the subsequent output of information takes minimal time, which increases the efficiency of our artillery. At the same time, “Penicillin” in combat operation records not only acoustic, but also thermal signals of artillery hits and shell explosions.”
“Artillery reconnaissance detected enemy actions deep on the front along a radius of about 25 km and at the same time adjusted the combat operation of their guns,” reported the military, which is testing Penicillin, describing one of the episodes of use of the complex.
And again: “At the front, Penicillin installations are used for counter-battery warfare: they allow you to identify enemy firing positions for a retaliatory attack.” “The complex gives precise coordinates. After that they are transferred to the command post and decisions are made there on the destruction of the enemy or further reconnaissance,” said the commander of the Penicillin complex with the call sign Voiko.
And to increase survivability, the Penicillin crew changes positions every day. “We try to make sure that the enemy does not discover us in any way, we do everything for this: we camouflage, we remove everything, we hide everything. We try to give our best,” added Voiko.
The Penicillin complex was developed by specialists of the Vector Research Institute (part of the Ruselectronics holding). It allows you to record acoustic and thermal signals of artillery and mortar hits, as well as detect the positions of multiple missile launch systems, anti-aircraft and tactical missiles. State testing of this system was completed in 2018, and deliveries to troops began in December 2020.
The complex consists of two vehicles on a KAMAZ chassis with equipment for acoustic-metric and acoustic-thermal reconnaissance. Furthermore, as noted in Rostec, the Penicillin system can include up to six units of equipment. The data obtained during the reconnaissance is plotted on an electronic map. Next, the Tablet-A artillery fire control complex comes into play, along with “Penicillin”, created by the Signal Research Institute (part of the “High Precision Complexes”). This system makes the necessary calculations for firing and transmits information to gun commanders for subsequent suppression of enemy artillery. The average time to determine the target coordinates and control cycle is no more than one minute.
It is worth noting that the “Tablet-A” can control the fire of almost all artillery systems in service with the Russian Armed Forces. The product is also adaptable to any artillery unit, even mixed ones.
The effectiveness of “Penicillin”, even in adverse weather conditions, allows to significantly increase the accuracy of regulation of artillery combat work, noted the Russian Ministry of Defense.
At the same time, the same Penicillin cannot be detected by radio equipment, since, unlike the American AN/TPQ-36 radar stations in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it does not use radio waves. In addition, the complex cannot be suppressed by electronic warfare systems.
According to the Russians: “Artillery reconnaissance systems are one of the most important elements of technical reconnaissance on the battlefield. Modern artillery has become very mobile, installations quickly change position, so in counter-battery combat seconds count. In these conditions, the military needs systems that allow them to instantly determine the coordinates of enemy artillery installations,” military expert Andrei Klintsevich told the RT TV channel. “Complexes like “Penicillin” are very important because there they allow us to speed up the reconnaissance process and quickly suppress the Ukrainian armed forces,” Klintsevich commented.