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Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics
“Tin Shield” in 1992 in Altensaltzwedel
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Figure 1: “Tin Shield” in 1992 in Altensaltzwedel

frequency: 2 850 … 3 200 MHz
pulse repetition time (PRT): 0.7 or 1.3 ms
pulse repetition frequency (PRF): 750 or 1500 pps
pulsewidth (τ): 6 or 12 µs
receiving time: 500 or 1000 µs
dead time: 200 or 300 µs
peak power: up to 350 kW
average power: up to 3.2 kW
instrumented range: 150 or 75 km
range resolution: 600 m
accuracy: 80 m; 0,45°
beamwidth: 6,5°
hits per scan: 3
antenna rotation: 6 or 12 rpm.
MTBCF: 140 h
MTTR: 60 min


The ST-68U (Russian designation: 19Sh6; Cyrillic: 19Ж6; NATO code: “Tin Shield”) was a medium-range 3D air defense radar in the former Warsaw Pact countries. It was designed for the detection and tracking of targets at low altitudes under conditions of active and passive interference with strong ground reflection and under difficult meteorological conditions.

The radar used a frequency-controlled phased array antenna with four different transmit frequencies and thus elevation angles. These four antenna patterns overlapped so that a fairly accurate altitude calculation was possible using the amplitude-based monopulse method. Automatic target recognition was implemented for up to 128 targets, 32 of which could be guided as continuous tracks. The radar electronics were equipped with a BITE system.

The ST-68 was added to the armament in the early 1980s and modernized to ST-68UM in the mid-1980s. NATO considered adopting this radar from former East Germany’s stockpile for crisis response forces because it was air transportable and relatively resistant to jamming. However, this plan was abandoned because of imponderable supply problems with spare parts from the successor republics of the former Soviet Union.