OLS-27 and OLS-29 infrared search and track
Notes: These two related IRST sensors equip the Su-27 “Flanker” and MiG-29 “Fulcrum” fighters respectively. The official designation is optiko lokatsionnaya stansiya, or “optical detection station”.
The OLS-27 on the “Flanker” is integrated with the SUV-27 combat computer. It is also interoperable with the Shchel-3UM flight helmet; the sensor moves along with the helmet to view what the pilot is looking at. It is useful against air, naval, and to a lesser degree ground targets. During the 1980s, NATO intelligence grossly underestimated it’s range; it is now known that air targets can routinely be detected up to 10NM away and under optimum conditions, it has detected targets at 27NM range. It has an integrated laser rangefinder with 4 ¼ NM maximum range.
The OLS-29 of the “Fulcrum” is a scaled-down and less expensive model, it has typical maximum detection ranges of 8NM.
This type of sensor is a fearsome dogfighting asset, giving no ESM warning and immune to jamming. It allows the fighters to operate at full capacity at night or in bad weather, while remaining electronically “silent”. It is also useful for attacking surface targets through fog or smoke.
USERS: USSR/Russian Federation, Armenia, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia (later Czech Republic and Slovakia), East Germany (later Germany), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Moldova, Myanmar, North Korea, Peru, Poland, Romania, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Yugoslavia/Serbia