Too far and not aligned ~ not present at all
...in Chapter 6, page 118 claims the following:
"The second alleged procedural error entailed an EA-6B support jammer that was said to have been operating not only too far away from the F-117 (80 to 100 miles) to have been of much protective value, but also out of proper alignment with the offending threat radars, resulting in inefficient jamming."
Though this jammer would not impact the operation of SNR-125, it might had impact on operation on P-18 radar, which might explain why the F-117 was detected at such short range. Does anyone has any information if the meter-wave jamming was actually present on that occasion?
Me, personally, never heard about jamming on interviews with the crew (but have in mind I didn't understand serbian as well...)... I think that the most trusted source from inside is the Anicic book "Smena", which our dear forummate Vympel translated for us (at least the important part: SMENA - F-177 appears....
(Note, that P-18 is really prone to jamming, and they didn't see any jamming at all, or at least doesn't mentioned, so probably the EA-6B was really "out of line"....)
I asked my question because there was a real "holy war" on some Russian forums between "patriots" and "westerners" regarding the circumstances of downing of Vega-31 and some aspects of it are still unclear. The description of this event from Anicic' book was translated into Russian by one man some time ago, serving as one of the few authoritative sources of information.
One of the most hotly debated aspects is the range at which F-117 was detected by P-18 radar. Previously, all Russian experts, as well as many western ones claimed that such aircraft as F-117 cannot be made truly stealthy in the meter waveband due to the nature of wave scattering - resonant scattering occurs instead of optical. Therefore, they claimed that RCS of F-117 in meter waveband should be much, much higher than in centimeter or decimeter waveband - some even claiming the figure of 1 square meter, and therefore it could be detected by P-18 at very long range. Due to this, the fact that it was only detected at the range of 23 to 35 km, according to various sources, causes a great deal of discussions. Because if we will take a figure from Anicic' book (23 km) and compare it with the well-known performance of P-18 radar, we would find that the meter-wave RCS of F-117 is exceptionally small - comparable to that in centimeter band, if not smaller.
Some people are trying to explain this by claiming that the P-18 might not have been operating continuously - thay turned it on after some pause and instantly detected a target. Some claim that the jamming might have been present, greatly reducing the detection range. Some claim that the radar might have been in poor technical condition. Other side claims that Lockheed engineers have defied the laws of physics and managed to reduce a meter-wave RCS to an amazing degree.
This English translation by Vympel is very interesting (thank you for finding it, I somehow overlooked it back then!), as its starts a bit earlier than mentioned Russian one and includes an extremely important phrase ("There are no close targets in the air. There are plenty at long ranges, and different azimuths"). It seems that both the jamming and intermittment operation theories are unfounded. I think I really need to learn Serbian...