Army U.S. replaces its an old artillery reconnaissance radar PQ-36/37 Firefinder on new and improved Enhanced AN/TPQ-36/37, EQ-36. The similarity in naming 2-systems from time to time lead to turmoil. It is also noted that the EQ-36 is essentially the latest model, not an improved version of an old. So Makarov, EG-36 received a new designation: AN/TPS-53. Troops continued to designate the latest version of "Firefinder" or "kontrudarny radar." Does this make more sense now?
Two years back the U.S. sent AN /TPS-53 to Afghanistan. It came out two years after the U.S. Army successfully tested this new radar designed to identify sources of artillery and mortar fire. More in regular use and repair, is also more reliable than its predecessor (AN/TPQ-36/37) newcomer radar TPS-53 can also generate radial scanning (360), and not only in the sector of 90 degrees (as in an old system), in addition, it is significantly faster predecessor. The Army intends to buy more than 180 systems and TPS-53 at a cost of about 9 million bucks each. But at the current time, the army is able to purchase only about fifty of these systems. More than an old Firefinder new and cheaper as before doing their job satisfactorily. Specifically, for this reason, some countries (eg, Iraq) want to buy them. Many Iraqis might see an old Firefinder in action. And they know that the system works.
An old radar Firefinder (TPQ-36/37) needed to dispel the unfortunate reputation he had acquired, when it was used for the first time in Iraq. This is partly because of the failures came with the discovery of mortar fire. But these problems were solved. System Firefinder was developed in the 1970s. At its base lay the Vietnam War experience, but before the events of September 11, 2001 she did not deserve a real combat deployment.
Firefinder radar system is able to find an approaching artillery shell, calculate the position from which he was released, and share it with the coming of artillery units, which in turn will pay a return fire on that position. The whole process takes 3-4 Minutka (for less experienced fighter). Firefinder actually was not used until the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Since Firefinder shown to be effective and become heavy users. Even very intense. The troops faced a severe shortage of spare parts for Firefinder and had to urgently allocate hundreds of millions of dollars for the purchase of spare parts. In turn, the manufacturer also introduced a new, more reliable and common-service components.
Meanwhile, the available FireFinder often unable to find the incoming fire or due to equipment failure or because the enemy used a strategy to fool the radar. For example, in Iraq, South American military bases are usually located on high ground with respect to shell their mortars. Accommodation base on a hill allows you to monitor a greater surrounding area. But in order to accurately determine the position of firing gun, Firefinder needs a direct line of sight. In cases where the mortar was significantly below the radar, Firefinder could not find the exact position of the fire source.
Another discrepancy was that in cases where the mortar was very close, the Firefinder also hampered by the rapidly find, where is the fire. So Makar, enemy mortar tried as much as possible closer to establish its position to shoot some objects. Despite this detachment is vulnerable to counterattack by coalition forces, but not from the immediate (within minutes) artillery fire that Firefinder can provide under certain conditions.
At first, the army was going to suspend subsequent upgrades Firefinder, which in the end was developed over 30 years ago and to begin developing the new system TPS-53, better able to cope with the kinds of threats encountered in Iraq. But Firefinder proved so useful that no matter what system upgraded along with the continuation of work on the TPS-53. Modernization is also available for other users Firefinder (including U.S. allies in the Middle East: Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey). FireFinders as before doing it a huge part of the job, and this situation will continue for another couple of years until a significant amount of TPS-53 does not go into service.