Ukrainian Plastun station hears the unaware enemy in complete silence – Technology Org


Ukrainian own-made weapons and military systems rarely get enough attention they deserve. A good example is radio intelligence equipment named Plastun.

Plastun-RP3000 is controlled using a specialized laptop computer.

Plastun-RP3000 is controlled using a specialized laptop computer. Image credit: Ukrainian Army

Different measures of radio-frequency reconnaissance allow you to detect the enemy completely imperceptibly, simply by tuning to and “listening” to the radio waves propagating all around.

The Plastun-RP3000 station has been designed to detect radio waves emitted by enemy units and to determine their approximate location based on the parameters of the intercepted signal.

The system works particularly well when detecting communication stations, radars, electromagnetic weapons, and anything else that is a source of radio waves. Their positions are determined somewhat approximately, but the data is updated in real-time and is precise enough to locate and eliminate a potential target.

The best precision is achieved when using two stations – then, it is possible to tell nearly the exact coordinates of the detected object.

The developer of this system says Ukrainian fighters need just three days to master its operation independently, by studying written instructions. The complete set consisting of antenna and control equipment weighs 39 kilograms (86 pounds). The platform is equipped with a battery for 8 hours of fully autonomous operation.

Ukrainian soldiers say Plastun is a valuable tool they use to track enemy artillery, electromagnetic weaponry, and mechanized units. The range of operation is sufficient to track the movement of ships in near-coast locations.

Plastun-RP3000 in use - photo shows operator with the control panel, and an unfolded antenna placed separately.

Plastun-RP3000 in use – photo shows the operator with the control panel, and an unfolded antenna placed separately. Image credit: Ukrainian Army

“Its main function is to determine the location of the enemy and the platform copes with this task perfectly. Sometimes there are obstacles – when they try to jam the signal, but there are also appropriate solutions in the settings. Even understanding its operation was not so difficult. Although we would still like to get some hands-on training before receiving the kit in our hands”, said one of the operators working with Plastun.

He also added that nonetheless, Plastun is not that difficult to master and has a simple and intuitive interface that allows for quick navigation.

While Plastun detects enemy positions quite easily, this system itself cannot be found easily. The reason is simple: it does not emit anything. It only “listens” to the radio space, while remaining nearly completely unnoticeable.

For Plastun, the only real danger of being detected comes from reconnaissance drones. However, the antenna and control station are usually placed at two different points, which means the human operator is safe most of the time.


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