AN/TPQ-36 Weapon Locating Radar
In mid-2009 the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation announced that an upgraded version of the AN/TPQ-36 weapon-finding mobile radar system first deployed with the Australian Army in 1987 had reached operational capability. The ADF intends to deploy the upgraded version in Afghanistan, where it is hoped that it will prove useful against rockets used by the Taliban. The AN/TPQ-36 is manufactured by Thales-Raytheon.
delivered an upgrade that a project to produce an upgraded version of a US 1970s mobile radar system that first entered Australian US in
Weapon Locating Radar Upgrade Project Achieves Key Milestone, Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, Media Release, 005/2009, 25 June 2009
Greg Combet, Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, today announced that the project to upgrade Army’s Weapon Locating Radar has now achieved initial operational capability. The AN/TPQ-36 has previously been operationally deployed by the ADF in Iraq. With the delivery of four of the seven upgraded Weapon Locating Radars, from the prime contractor Raytheon, initial operational capability has now been achieved. Initial operational capability is achieved when the first subset of a capability system is proven suitable and effective for operational employment.
LAND 58 Phase 3 proposes to extend the life of type of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) AN/TPQ-36 Weapon Locating Radar, which reached the end of its service life in 2007. The AN/TPQ-36 was introduced into service in 1987 as an earlier phase of LAND 58. A total of seven radars, a simulator, plus support and test equipment were purchased. The upgraded radars will be capable of locating (detecting and providing targeting data) mortars, guns and rockets in the tactical land environment.
New radar ready for rollout in Afghanistan, Mark Dodd, The Australian, 24 June 2009
An upgrade of army’s weapon-locating radar systems could soon see their deployment to Afghanistan to provide an early-warning capability for Taliban-launched rockets of the type that killed Private Gregory Sher. “The Australian AN/TPQ-36 Weapon Locating Radar capability provides the Australian Defence Force with the ability to locate enemy mortars, guns and rockets, enabling early warning for ground forces,” Defence Personnel Materiel and Science Minister Greg Combet said.
ThalesRaytheonSystems’ compact, mobile, combatproven AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar accurately, rapidly, and automatically locates medium-range enemy mortars, artillery, and rocket launchers. It can handle simultaneous fire from weapons at multiple locations, detecting and reporting their positions on the first round. No longer must front-line troops and armor be exposed to long periods of enemy mortar, artillery, and rocket attacks. The AN/TPQ-36 directs accurate counterfire to neutralize enemy positions. The AN/TPQ-36’s automatic detection, tracking, and locating process is so fast that an enemy weapon’s position can often be pinpointed before its projectile impacts. Locations of enemy weapon positions are automatically corrected for altitude differences, using computer-stored digital maps, and presented to the operator in northing, easting, and altitude coordinates. The system is so automatic and simple to operate that, once set up, the operator need not be present in the operation control shelter to determine a weapon’s location. Rounds from friendly weapons also can be tracked, for more accurate delivery. The AN/TPQ-36 can detect and report the positions of up to 10 different weapons in seconds, at a maximum range of 24 km. The system also corrects and improves thedelivery of friendly fire.
Compact and highly mobile, the AN/TPQ-36 supports rapid deployment of forces and close combat. It can be positioned and ready for operation in 15 minutes. It can bereadied for movement in 5 minutes by a five-man crew. Because it can move quickly from one position to another, it is typically located close to the forward battle line in direct support of brigade operations.
AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder radar, Wikipedia
AN/TPQ-36 Firefinder Radar, GlobalSecurity.org
Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Additional research: Arabella Imhoff
24 June 2009