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AN/TPQ-37, FIREFINDER ARTILLERY LOCATING RADAR

The FIREFINDER (FF) AN/TPQ-37 is a mobile phased array radar set which automatically locates single or multiple positioned hostile artillery and rocket launched weapons. The system will then direct effective counterfire against the hostile weapon. The radar uses a combination of radar techniques, computer controlled signal processing, and automatic height correction to detect, verify, and track the projectiles in flight, and to automatically extrapolate both the firing position and the impact point. The AN/TPQ-37 is capable of first round detection at ranges of 3 to 50 km, dependent on weapon type. The phased array antenna allows the radar to electronically switch beam positions, thus enabling it to search for new targets while simultaneously tracking previously detected targets. Two (2) AN/TPQ-37 (V) Radar Sets are assigned to a division and each radar requires a crew of twelve for operations and maintenance.

The AN/TPQ-37 operations shelter is identical to that used with the AN/TPQ-36(V)5 and consists of an Operations Control Group mounted on an M-35 series Truck, and the MEP-115A, 60 kilowatt, 400 hertz Generator Set mounted on a 5-ton Truck. This truck also tows the Antenna Transceiver Group consisting of the Phased Array Antenna, Transmitter, Receiver and associated electronics mounted on the M-1048 Trailer, a 6-ton four wheel flatbed Cargo Trailer. Two AN/TPQ-37s are assigned to the Target Acquisition Battery of each division and employed with the AN/TPQ-36. The AN/TPQ-37 is larger than the AN/TPQ-36 and its target acquisition range is greater. The system uses a combination of radar techniques and computer controlled functions to detect and accurately locate enemy artillery and rocket weapons to permit rapid engagement with counterfire.

The AN/TPQ-37(V)6 is a long range radar which can locate artillery and rockets within the accuracy of the weapons systems. It was used extensively during Operation Desert Storm. The system is fast and accurate but lacked mobility. It has to be broken down to airlift it in anything smaller than a C-5.

The AN/TPQ-37 is undergoing an evolution from the fielded Version (V)6 to Version (V)7/8 Enhanced FF (Block I). The (V) 6 configuration consists of the OK-398 (V)6/TPQ(V) Operational Control Group (OCG); the OY-72(V)5/TPQ-37(V) Antenna-Transceiver Group (ATG); the OA-9018/TPQ-37(V) Generator Power Distribution Group (GPDG); and the PU-707 A/M power unit, the additional power source. The OCG is housed in an S-250 shelter mounted on an M813A1 or M925A2 5-ton truck, and consists of the computer, signal processor, power supplies, line printer, display device, weapons locating assembly, and rack space. The ATG is mounted on an M1048A1 6-ton trailer towed by an M925A2 5-ton truck, and consists of a phased array antenna, transmitter, receiver, and associated electronics. The GPDG consists of a MEP115A 60 kw, 400 Hz generator set mounted on an MX3035 pallet. The GPDG is carried in the bed of the M925A2 5-ton truck that tows the ATG. An additional 2 1/2 or 5-ton cargo truck is utilized with the system to carry ancillary equipment and supplies and to tow the PU-707 (spare generator) and M200 trailer. An M998 HMMWV is also used as a recon vehicle and carries some of the crew.

The Enhanced FF Block I Materiel Change (MC) is a non-development upgrade to the AN/TPQ-37 (V) 6 configuration. This MC is vital to keeping the AN/TPQ-37 radar sustainable in the field. The MC is limited to mechanical, electrical, and software changes necessary to maintain the Reliability Availability Maintainability (RAM), transportability, mobility, and interoperability of the system through FY05. This effort will design, retrofit, and qualify modifications to the system as follows: upgrading the cooling system, providing for transportability by C130/141 aircraft, upgrading the trailer (which includes installation of a Medium Track Suspension System (MTSS)), incorporating a self-survey capability, reducing false locations, correcting and incorporating existing long range software, improving the transmitter RAM, and integrating the AN/TPQ-36 (V) 7 OCG on a M1097 HMMWV. Enhanced FF Block I will cause only minimal changes to current training and will not be addressed any further in this STRAP.

The AN/TPQ-37(V)8 corrects most of the short comings of the (V)6 at a minimum of cost. In this version C-130 roll-on/roll-off is fixed by adding a mobility package. The Antenna can now be rolled off its trailer directly onto the ramp of a C-130. The generator pallet (not shown) also has that capability. No special equipment is required. To fix the problem of the lack of maneuverability encountered during Operation Desert Storm, a Medium Tracked Suspension System (MTSS) was added. The S-250 shelter was moved to a M1097 Heavy HMMWV and self-survey capability was added by installing a Modular Azimuth Positioning System (MAPS). Memory keep alive circuits were added as in the AN/TPQ-36(V)7. Finally, the life cycle of the system was increased by swapping the old cooler and components for a redesigned cooler. Fielding was completed by third quarter 1997.

The Firefinder AN/TPQ-37 Block II (Blk II) effort represents the next logical step in the evolution process. The S-250 shelter that houses the OCG and associated computer processing functions will be replaced by the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Shelter (LMS), currently being developed for the AN/TPQ-36(V)8 Electronic Upgrade program. The program will also include the following improvements:

(a) Lighter overall system weight.
(b) Reduced emplacement/displacement time.
(c) Faster access to data.
(d) Enhanced program memory capability and digital map storage.
(e) A high speed signal processor allowing increased throughput and faster processing.
(f) Remote operations up to 100 meters from the ATG.
(g) Enhanced probability of location.
(h) Ability to classify target type and caliber.
(i) Enhanced survivability.
(j) Increased range.
(k) Self-location.
(l) Improved electronic counter countermeasures.
(m) Roll on/off C130 and larger aircraft.
(n) Ability to utilize all communications assets assigned to the fire support (FS) mission area.


TRANSPORTATION CHARACTERISTICS / LIMITATIONS: No transportability issues exist.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

Jun 72 DA approved Materiel Need Statement; contract Research and Development award.

Dec 76 Low Rate contract award.

May 81 Full Scale Production contract award.

Feb 83 Initial Operational Capability (IOC) complete, Europe.

Feb 86 Production complete for Army.

Apr 92 Last U.S. fielding.

REQUIREMENTS DOCUMENT: Mission Need Statement, 1 Jun 78.

TYPE CLASSIFICATION: Standard approved 18 Feb 81.



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