MPZ-301 Baza (“Pop Group”) radar
Notes: This large, heavy system is the fire control radar for the SA-N-4 “Gecko” SAM. It was developed by the same bureau responsible for the Soviet army’s “Land Roll” radar. It consists of three radars:
1) The radar set mounted on top of the unit, this C-band radar is used for target acquisition; in other words, it finds aircraft already detected by the ship’s search radar and hands off the target to the tracker. This radar can train and elevate independent of the other two. It’s range is about 36NM.
2) The main target tracker radar, this is the large flat plate antenna. It transmits in the I/J-bands and has a range of about 16NM.
3) The correlator radar, this is the smaller flat plate antenna to the left of the tracker. This radar tracks the outbound SAM so that the system can transmit course corrections to achieve a hit. It transmits in the K-band and has a range of about 11NM.
The Soviets designed this system to use the polarization diversity method; this allows a single “Pop Group” to guide two in-flight SAMs at once. In a high jamming environment, this method can also be used as a sort of ECCM to guide a single SAM.
MPZ-301 is carried by a wide variety of warships, from corvettes up to cruisers. Some notable classes in worldwide use include the “Nanuchka” and “Koni” series. As part of the 1990 “Four Plus Two Treaty” of German reunification, the USSR specifically called this radar out by name and demanded it be stripped off the Volksmarine warships which carried it before they were turned over to the Bundesmarine. This was for naught eventually anyways, as some former Warsaw Pact navies later joined NATO and compromised the system.
USERS: USSR/Russian Federation, Algeria, Bulgaria, Cuba, East Germany, India, Libya, Ukraine, Yugoslavia/Serbia