Allied search radars

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Bgile
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Re: Allied search radars

Postby Bgile » Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:53 pm

You don't ordinarily want to jam a ship's surface search radar, because that gives away your position to someone who may not have detected you in the first place. You might then get the "opportunity" to try to jam his FC radar, which is much more powerful.

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Re: Allied search radars

Postby USS ALASKA » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:55 pm

Indeed sir – understood. However, I can think of two scenarios where discovery is a low risk consideration.

1. Jamming is a decoy and / or done from an expendable maritime asset.
2. Jamming is done from land.

Degrade adversaries SA to mask other attacking forces and maybe redirect his assets in another direction. However, I would think these tactics would be post WW II. I can’t find any thing about the Axis (at least the Japanese) having jamming capabilities. Although they did have chaff apparently.

Once again, interesting conversation - thanks.

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Re: Allied search radars

Postby Bgile » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:53 pm

Jamming is a whole separate branch of warfare and it can get quite involved. There are countermeasures and counter-counter measures. I don't know how far they got in WWII. Some information may even be classified today.

In WWII an enemy TF commander would probably send an aircraft to investigate a jamming source at sea. Your "decoy" ship would have to be substantial enough to travel with your own force over long distances, so maybe not tremedously expendable. Remember we are talking about an enemy force with air search over hundreds of miles from his TF, and a surface search radar with a 20 to 40 mile range. I'm just not sure how much you could interfere with his operations that way. Maybe inshore, where you could camoflage.

Today it gets pretty complicated, with various countermeasures that can be employed on each side.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Allied search radars

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:37 pm

There was an intense countermeasure followed by counter-counter measures war fought between the Germans and the British, particularly in regards to the night bombing campaign. The Germans tried to use Allied radar emissions to their own advantage, rather than try and jam them in most cases. For example, when heavy use of Window made tracking Allied aircraft more difficult using the Giant Wuerzburgs, the Germans would simply follow the progress of the bomber streams by following the bombers own radar emissions, so they didn't want to jam them. The Germans also developed passive beam following devices that could help them hone in on the enemy radar beams and actually target enemy using the enemys own radar. An example of this was Flensburg that honed in on the tail gun firecontrol radars of bombers.

The Germans did jam radars using active noise jamming when required though. In the Med the Germans utilized powerful noise jammers that shut down almost all of the many Allied radars operating on 150cm. The US Army's Flak radars were shut down completely at Anzio, but after a couple of weeks the Germans quit using jamming, because the Allies would continue bussiness as usual although their radars were in fact ineffective.The Germans assumed that the jamming hadn't worked very well. The Germans used the same tactic. The Germans would sometimes also pretend that the jamming had worked on their radars when in fact it had not. They successfully lead the Allies to assume that their noise jammers to be used vs the Freya and Seetakt radars were very effective when in fact they were not. After the war statistical analysis indicated that bomber intercepts and losses did not drop off until after the forward Freya location swere overran by Allied troops, and the Allied experts had only thought that they were jamming the Freyas.

The Germans successfully used jamming vs the all the known British radars during the channel dash. They gradually introduced jamming in the days proceeding the dash; increasing the power by degree and mimicking the natural noise of atmospherics and the noise caused by solar radiation. By the time of the actual channel dash the British radars were having all kinds of "atmospherics" problems. Some British techs smelled at rat, but by then it was already happening.

Steve is correct to point out that passive jamming was usually more effective vs search radars, although active noise jamming can significantly reduce the effective range of an enemy radar by degrading the signal to noise ratio, even if it doesnt jam the radar completely. However, the Wuerzburg could still detect targets with a S/n ratio at or below unity, so Window, or foil cut to 1/2 the wave length, was a better counter measure-for awhile. The Germans also knew about foil, or chaff, and they called it Dueppel. The Germans didn't use it earlier because they didn't want the British to find out. Once the British demonstrated that they also knew about chaff, by using window against Wuerzburg, the Germans began to use Dueppel to good effect on Allied radars. Even as early as 1943 U-boats could release balloons that would then release chaff cut to 5cm. Another trick used by the Germans were fake schnorkels in the form of floating reflectors that reflected radar signals much like a schnorkel would.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Allied search radars

Postby Bgile » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:58 am

Dave Saxton wrote:Even as early as 1943 U-boats could release balloons that would then release chaff cut to 5cm. Another trick used by the Germans were fake schnorkels in the form of floating reflectors that reflected radar signals much like a schnorkel would.


Interesting post, but this part seems odd to me. Those activities would indicate that there was definitely a U-boat in that area, since it released the stuff.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Allied search radars

Postby Dave Saxton » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:47 pm

The balloons would be usefull if the U-boat was on the surface, either attacking, or trying to shadow a convoy, and they knew they were being painted with radar.

The fake schnorkels would be distributed in high traffick lanes where u-boats would transit using schnorkels, essentially turning searching for schnorkels into a frustrating shell game for the Allied radar operators tasked with the finding the real schnorkel.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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RF
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Re: Allied search radars

Postby RF » Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:30 pm

But these defensive devices presumably would not be of too much use in a ''swamp'' type submarine hunt - Allied forces would simply be too many.
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