Artillery: Counter Battery Zeros-In

Archives

October 30, 2012: The U.S. Army has developed a lightweight radar that can calculate where mortar or rocket fire is coming from and instantly transmit the GPS data to nearby artillery, gunships, warplanes, or ground troops. The AN/TPQ-50 can be mounted in a hummer or dropped by parachute in two 68 kg (150 pound) containers. Unlike the larger (truck mounted) AN/TPQ-53, the lightweight radar does not have the range to deal with most artillery weapons (guns, howitzers, and rockets).  However, in the war on terror the enemy often has mortars and small rockets and almost never uses artillery.

The AN/TPQ-50 is a further development of the AN/TPQ-48, which entered service a decade ago. In Afghanistan, where many temporary bases were set up in remote areas, the AN/TPQ-48 was easier to get into position than the larger AN/TPQ-36 or AN/TPQ-53 and capable enough to get the job done. The army is in the process of selecting someone to manufacture 138 AN/TPQ-50 systems and more later on if needed.

AN/TPQ-50 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 2-3 minutes (or less, for experienced troops). The radar has 360 degree coverage and only needs one or two troops to operate it. If the enemy fired from a residential area, local troops (of a QRF, or Quick Reaction Force) also get the GPS data and can often catch the men who fired the rockets or mortar shells. The AN/TPQ-50 can use batteries or vehicle power and consumes under 400 watts. 

 


X

ad Help Keep Us Online!
 

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close