As a result of overwork, and enemy countermeasures, the American FireFinder artillery and mortar finding radar is getting a bad reputation. It is often failing to detect incoming mortar fire. FireFinder was developed in the 1970s, based on Vietnam experience with enemy mortar and rocket attacks. Firefinder is a radar system which, when it spots an incoming shell, calculates where it came from and transmits the location to a nearby artillery unit, which then fires on where the mortar is (or was). This process takes 3-4 minutes (or less, for experienced troops.) FireFinder worked as advertised, but got little use until U.S. troops entered Iraq. Since then, the FireFinder has been very effective, and heavily used. Too heavily used. There were not a lot of spare parts stockpiled for FireFinder, but now several hundred million dollars worth have been, are being, produced. The manufacturer has also introduced new components, that are more reliable, and easier to maintain.
Meanwhile, existing Firefinders are often failing to catch incoming fire, either because of equipment failure, or because the enemy is using tactics that fool the radar. For example, in Iraq, American bases are generally on higher ground than the mortars firing at them. Putting bases on the high ground enables you to watch more of the surrounding are. But Firefinder needs a line-of-sight to get a good fix on the firing weapons position. If the mortar is too far below the radar, Firefinder cannot accurately spot where the fire is coming from. Another problem is that if the mortar is too close, Firefinder is much less likely to quickly determine where the fire is coming from. So the enemy mortar teams get as close as they can before they open up. This still makes the mortar teams vulnerable to counterattack by coalition troops, but not the immediate (in a few minutes) artillery fire that Firefinder can make happen under the right conditions.
At first, the army was going to halt further upgrades on Firefinder, which, after all, was developed thirty years ago, and begin developing a new system, one that can better deal with the kinds of problems encountered in Iraq. But Firefinder has been so useful, that new upgrades were pursued anyway, while work continued on a replacement system. The upgrades have also been made available to other users of Firefinder (including, just in the Middle East, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.)