Friendly Radar + Friendly Missiles = Fratricide
SUBJECT AREA - Aviation
Title: Friendly Radar + Friendly Missiles = Fratricide
Author: Major Richard Danchak, United States Marine Corps
Thesis: Marine Q-36 weapon locating radars emit energy in the
same frequency range as enemy radar associated with surface-to-
air missiles, and are potential targets for our own high-speed
anti-radiation missile (HARM) unless we find a solution. Since
the Marine Corps has no technical solution, nontechnical
solutions must be implemented immediately to prevent further
Background: The Marine Q-36 radar uses the same frequencies as
enemy radar. Therefore, Marine radar can attract our own
friendly HARMs designed to destroy enemy radar. Unless we can
somehow ensure the HARM can distinguish between friendly and
enemy radar, fratricide is possible. During Operation Desert
Storm, a HARM "locked on" to a friendly radar position and killed
a Marine. During that short war, there were six other incidents
where HARMs struck in locations other than those targeted. Until
a sure technical solution is introduced, which may be years away,
the Marine Corps must implement nontechnical solutions to
decrease the likelihood of future fratricide cases of this
nature. Our Marines deserve this attention. Nontechnical
solutions that can be implemented immediately are as follows:
doctrinal changes, frequency deconfliction, geographic
separation, pilot and radar operator awareness, radar
survivability measures, and training. These procedures require
no money and the personnel structure has been committed to make
it happen. These procedures are not perfect, but until the
fielding of a technical identification-of-friend-or-foe system,
they will surely serve to protect our Marines manning the radar
more than in the past. This added degree of protection is
worthwhile when considering the process may be enough to prevent
another Marine from needlessly dying.
Recommendation: That the Marine Corps adopt these nontechnical
solutions immediately, while concurrently researching,
developing, and acquiring technical solutions to the problem. By
doing so, we can better safeguard Marines and radars while
employing the HARM to destroy enemy targets.
FRIENDLY RADAR + FRIENDLY MISSILES = FRATRICIDE
Thesis Statement. Marine Q-36 weapon locating radars emit energy
in the same frequency range as enemy radar associated with
surface-to-air missiles, and are potential targets for our own
high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) unless we find a
solution. Since the Marine Corps has no technical solution,
nontechnical solutions must be implemented immediately to prevent
I. HARM historical development and operating principles
II. Historical problem with the Q-36 radar and HARM
III. Specific example of fratricide from Desert Storm
IV. Technical solutions being researched
V. Nontechnical solutions for the present
A. Doctrine changes via frequency deconfliction and
1. Solution discussion
2. Solution shortcoming
B. Geographic separation and pilot situational awareness
1. Solution discussion
2. Solution shortcoming
C. Radar operator awareness
D. Q-36 survivability measures
l. Contained in FM 6-121
a. Reduced radiating time
b. Narrowed search sector
c. Selection of optimum site
2. Not contained in FM 6-121
a. Antenna remoting
b. Displacement of nonessential personnel
FRIENDLY RADAR + FRIENDLY MISSILES = FRATRICIDE
In the 1970s, our military adversaries developed a
sophisticated air defense system to counter U.S. air power.
These enemy defense systems consisted of radar and surface-to-air
missiles (SAMs). To offset this enemy threat against our air
power, the U.S. developed anti-radiation air-to-surface missiles.
Anti-radiation missiles home in on and attack enemy ground radars
associated with antiaircraft artillery (AAA) and SAMs. Our
current state-of-the-art missile is the AGM-88 high-speed anti-
radiation missile (HARM). The Marine EA-6B Prowler and F/A-l8
Hornet both carry the HARM. (15:786)
Although HARMs operate in different attack modes and methods
of launch from the aircraft, they operate on the same principle.
Passive systems in the aircraft, and the sensitive seekers in the
missiles detect when electronic energy has "painted" them. The
aircraft systems and an Electronic Countermeasures Officer (ECMO)
determine the locale the energy came from, and analyze the
frequency of the energy to decide if the emission came from an
enemy air-defense-associated surface-to-air system or radar. If
the analysis reveals that the frequency came from an enemy
platform, the pilot launches the HARM when the aircraft is within
appropriate range. After release, the missile receiver
continuously senses the radar energy of the radiation and guides
the missile to the signal. The HARM then impacts at the site,
killing people and destroying equipment.
For instance, Russian and Iraqi radar use the same
frequencies as do the Marine AN/TPQ-36 weapon locating radar.
When a friendly aircraft or HARM senses that it is being painted
by an energy that uses the same frequency as our Q-36 radar, that
energy cannot be positively identified as friendly or enemy. The
Q-36 radar activates the Radar Aircraft Warning (RAW) equipment
aboard the aircraft, giving the pilot a warning that he is under
attack. Marine Q-36 weapon locating radars emit energy in the
same frequency range as enemy radar associated with SAMs, and are
potential targets for our own HARM unless we find a solution.
Since the Marine Corps has no technical solution, nontechnical
solutions must be implemented immediately to prevent further
Fratricide is a horrible occurrence usually caused by the
confusion that exists on the modern battlefield. During war,
fratricide will never be eliminated. Most rational people can
understand how the chaotic battlefield can lead to friendly
casualties; they cannot understand when our own systems attract
friendly missiles. Fratricide becomes more deplorable when we
take no action to preclude further unnecessary deaths.
Since the fielding of the Q-36 radar in the mid-1980s, they
have been fired upon several times by anti-radiation missiles.
(6:15) In Operation Desert Storm (ODS) alone, there were at least
seven instances where HARMs struck in locations other than those
targeted. In one of those instances, a HARM "locked on" to a
Q-36 radar that resulted in the death of a Marine. (26)
On February 23, 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, a
Marine EA-6B aircraft from a Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare
Squadron was flying a mission over Kuwait. The aircraft, armed
with HARMs, was painted by an energy in the 9.3 to 9.7 gigahertz
range. That is the frequency range used by Iraqi Flap Wheel fire
control radar. Concurrently, a Marine Q-36 radar was operating
in the same gigahertz range. Whether the EA-6B was initially
painted by a friendly or enemy energy is immaterial.
Nevertheless, the RAW activated and the system, along with the
ECMOs, determined the energy came from an enemy Flap Wheel radar.
A Flap Wheel radar provides fire control data for 57mm and 130mm
AAA guns. The pilot then decided to launch the HARM using a
During a range-known shot, the HARM's seeker activates at
about 60 percent of the distance to the target. The seeker then
acquires the target and continually adjusts its flight trajectory
until it guides itself onto the radar signal. If during its
flight the HARM loses its "lock" on the energy source, it will
redirect itself. The missile widens its field of view or search
area, also known as the "footprint." While doing so it searches
for alternate energies programmed into the missile. When the
HARM detects an alternate energy, that energy then becomes "home"
for the HARM.
In this engagement, it seems the HARM was launched at a Flap
Wheel radar position north of the Q-36 radar location. The Flap
Wheel radar stopped emitting after the missile launched, but
before the missile seeker activated. After the missile seeker
activated, and while the HARM was still in flight, the Q-36 radar
emitted, attracting the HARM. The Q-36 radar, being within the
footprint of the HARM, then became the HARM's home.
Regardless of exactly how it happened, sometime during the
HARM's flight, it locked on to the Marine Q-36 radar. Performing
as per design, the HARM tracked the emissions to the Q-36 radar
location and the 66-kilogram high explosive pre-fragmented
warhead detonated. The aftermath was damage to several vehicles
and personal equipment, one destroyed Q-36 radar, one injured
Marine, and the charred body of a dead Marine.
During the crater analysis, investigative personnel
collected fragments and serialized wing sections identified as a
HARM. Using missile serialized configuration and operating logs,
the HARM was traced back to the specific EA-6B sortie. This
incident was undoubtedly fratricide.
In another documented example, a HARM destroyed an Army
AN/TPS-25 battlefield surveillance radar. (2) Fortunately, there
were no casualties. Unless we implement a solution, however,
HARMs will continue to be potentially lethal to friendly ground
forces operating the Q-36 and other types of radar.
In today's technology, an identification-of-friend-or-foe
(IFF) solution should be commonplace; it is not. During ODS,
friendly fire killed 35 Americans and injured another 72.
(32:M-1) Never before have we fought such a short war with such a
great percentage of deaths due to friendly fire. (9:34) These
fratricide figures run at four times the historic rate! (20:30)
Can this problem be eliminated to lessen the fratricide cases in
the next war?
Post-fratricide investigations reveal that most incidents
are avoidable. The fratricide example discussed is no different
from most of the investigated cases, in that solutions exist.
For example, during ODS, services examined more than 60 proposals
representing 41 different technical approaches across five
technology categories to resolve the problem of firing on
friendly forces. (32: M-5)
Solutions can be broadly categorized as technical and
nontechnical. Currently, the manufacturers of both the Q-36
radar and the HARM are researching technical solutions to the
friendly radar and HARM dilemma. The Q-36 radar program managers
(PMs) are examining survivability through the use of decoys. (5)
Conceptually, decoys, distantly remoted from the Q-36 radar,
would begin emitting upon detection of an incoming HARM and
automatically shutdown the Q-36 radar: theory being the HARM
would then detonate at the remote decoy site and not the Q-36
radar site. The HARM PMs are researching a geographic
specificity feature that would limit the search area of the
missile, as well as software modifications to the HARM that could
eliminate the ambiguity of energies detected on the battlefield.
(19) Ultimately, the DoD-wide effort hopes to develop a universal
IFF or Combat Identification System. For example, the Army
recently established a Center for Combat Identification
Technology at Fort Meade, Maryland. (4:44, 9:36) The center is
studying how equipment could be identified by broadcasting
electronic code words.
However, I favor the nontechnical solutions as the immediate
answer to our problem. Why? First, because nontechnical
solutions can be implemented now, and the Marine Corps will not
have to wait years for the technocrats and budgeters to fix our
problem. Second, because nontechnical solutions are the most
feasible, practical, and acceptable. Third, because nontechnical
solutions cost little compared to the highly technical IFF
systems under development.
The focus of my paper will therefore be on nontechnical
solutions, not one but a combination of several recommendations.
Why a combination of several recommendations? Because,
admittedly, none of the solutions are adequate if they stand
alone. Taken individually, each of my recommendations would
decrease the likelihood of friendly fire or increase the
survivability of the Q-36 radar crews. Using the solutions in
combination would increase survivability exponentially.
The three nontechnical solutions are as follows: doctrine
and training, geographic separation and pilot situational
awareness, and radar operator awareness and enforcement of Q-36
radar survivability measures. As previously stated, none of
these recommendations alone will solve the problem. Therefore,
as I end the discussion of each proposal, I will conclude with
the shortcomings of some of the solutions for better reader
appreciation of the complexity of this problem.
The first solution I will discuss is doctrine and training.
The doctrinal solutions detailed below will ensure electronic
coordination between the ground and air. A review of our
existing fire support, target acquisition, and aviation doctrine
reveals no mention of required coordination between the ground
combat element (GCE) employing the Q-36 radar and the aviation
combat element (ACE) employing the HARM. (22, 23, 27, 29, 30, 31)
Without electronic coordination, it should come as no surprise
that we have a problem. The proposed doctrinal solution to
effect this coordination will be called frequency deconfliction.
Joint doctrine has established a variation of this modified
proposed solution. Joint Publication 3-51, Electronic Warfare in
Joint Military Operation details joint procedures on how to
coordinate frequency jamming to ensure we do not jam our own
equipment. (17) For example, through electronic coordination, we
can ensure that our EA-6Bs do not jam the specific portion of the
frequency spectrum used by our friendly forces at a given time
and place. This means specifically that the EA-6Bs do not jam
the frequencies used by our Q-36 radar. This electronic
coordination procedure can work if it expands not just to
coordinate jamming, but also to coordinate the frequency spectrum
of the Q-36, EA-6B, and HARM. This expanded electronic
coordination will ensure separation between EA-6B and HARM
sensitized frequencies, and the frequencies in which the Q-36
The Marine Corps has yet to implement the joint procedures
the area unified commanders in chief have directed all services
to adopt. An interview with the Electronic Warfare Doctrine
action officer reveals that the Marine Corps is presently writing
doctrine and implementing joint procedures. These new procedures
will eventually be published in FMFM 3-51, Electronic Warfare;
FMFM 3-50, Command and Control Warfare; and MCO 3430.2B, Policy
for Electronic Warfare. All the documents mentioned are
currently either being drafted or staffed. (33) These documents
could fix the problem as long as they go beyond simply jamming
coordination, and direct electronic coordination between the
GCE's Q-36 and the ACE's HARM-carrying aircraft. Thereafter,
these new procedures must be included in updates to other
applicable fire support, target acquisition, and aviation field
manuals (FMs) and Fleet Marine Force manuals (FMFMs).
Implementing frequency deconfliction will require change in
the Marine Corps. The responsible staff agency for executing
this solution must be the Signals Intelligence/Electronic Warfare
Coordination Center (S/EWCC). Currently, the G-2, Intelligence
Officer, establishes and maintains the S/EWCC. One of the
S/EWCC's responsibilities is to coordinate electronic warfare
operations. However, to implement this solution, two changes
must be made to the S/EWCC. First, the S/EWCC must fall under
the purview of the G-3, Operations Officer, and not the G-2.
This would ensure the total integration of electronic warfare
coordination with ground operations. Second, and most important,
the S/EWCC must be a permanently staffed standing organization.
Currently, the S/EWCC is formed only when needed, and manned by
members with primary duties other than those performed in the
S/EWCC. (21:4-12, 23:3-4) For example, in ODS the S/EWCC formed
late in the planning cycle, and was manned by only two officers
who tried their best to perform their required duties while
learning via on-the-job-training. (25) As a result, little if any
electronic coordination occurred.
A permanent S/EWCC, staffed with highly trained Marines
working for the G-3, can perform frequency deconfliction. A
document called the Restricted Frequency List (RFL) can display
and be the means to communicate this information. (24:51) The
G-2, G-3, and G-6, Communications Officer, provide input into the
RFL. The S/EWCC compiles and publishes the RFL every 24 hours.
The RFL will coordinate the frequency spectrum by informing
electronic emitters and jammers how, when, and where they can
emit or jam. Thus, the RFL can deconflict frequencies in three
ways. First, the RFL can deconflict frequencies by informing the
radar operators which part of their available frequency range is
available for use. Second, the RFL can deconflict time by
informing the radar not to radiate during specific time periods.
Finally, the RFL can deconflict space by informing the radar not
to emit into a specific geographic area or zone.
In a nonlinear emitter-rich battlespace this is the only
viable solution. Frequency deconfliction published via a 24-hour
RFL will work only if the RFL is published in a timely manner and
received by radar supervisors. Executing this 24-hour cycle
brings me to the important subject of executing this new doctrine
Consistent training is the only way to attain proficiency
when new doctrine emerges. Admittedly, development and
promulgation of an RFL every 24 hours is ambitious. Therefore,
training is essential. Routinely scheduled training will be the
key to mastering this challenging process.
I will now discuss the shortcomings of this solution.
According to LCDR Roberts, the Navy's PM for the HARM, there may
not be enough frequency separation available within the frequency
spectrum to assure the HARM would not receive an ambiguous energy
source, get "confused", and attack a friendly radar. Stated
differently, the available frequency separation may not be wide
enough to deconflict radar and missiles. LCDR Roberts was not
sure a solution exists, given the Q-36 operating parameters and
the HARM capabilities. (19)
MAJ Watson, the Marine Corps' Electronic Warfare Doctrine
Officer, has his doubts also. As he states, frequency
deconfliction is a complex process that takes time. Prior to the
start of a conflict, when time is available and the electronic
order of battle is neat and orderly, the process should work.
But, after days in a fast-paced conflict, the process may be too
slow and complex to stay abreast of the pace of battle. (33)
Lastly, an account from a regimental artillery operations
officer states that frequency deconfliction procedures will
result in unnecessary, potentially dangerous, lengthy shut downs
of the radar. (26) The Q-36 radar cueing schedule would be so
restricted, the radar would be unable to perform its intended
mission -- that being enemy target acquisition.
The second solution I will discuss is geographic separation
and pilot situational awareness. Geographic separation will
ensure the HARM's search area does not include areas containing
Q-36 radars. The fire support coordination measure to be used
for this purpose is the fire support coordination line (FSCL).
The FSCL is a line beyond which aircraft can attack targets
without prior coordination with the ground force commander
provided the attack will not produce adverse surface effects on,
or to the rear of, the line. Attacks short of or on the friendly
side of the FSCL must be coordinated with the appropriate ground
force commander. FSCLs usually follow well-defined terrain
features so they are easily identifiable from the air. (31:H-2)
Knowing where this feature is in relation to the friendly forces
is the responsibility of the pilot and is an example of
A study conducted in May 1991 by the Combat Identification
Task Force (CITF) revealed the importance of situational
awareness. The CITF was a multilevel and multiservice effort to
minimize fratricide. The senior officer review group identified
situational awareness as a leading cause of fratricide. (20:31)
Before an air mission, pilots become aware of the
battlespace through preflight briefs. There is much to be aware
of, yet there are only five Q-36 radar positions per division to
monitor. Radar operators must accurately report their locations
to the Fire Support Coordination Center (FSCC) in a timely
manner. The air officer in the FSCC must then ensure all
appropriate air agencies receive the current Q-36 radar
locations. The receiving air agencies then must provide this
information, via timely briefs, to all ACE personnel involved
with HARM employment. Situational awareness briefs that are
out-of-date are misleading and dangerous. In a fast moving
situation, briefs may have to be updated hourly. (2)
Accomplishing geographic separation is not easy. For
example, the most common scenario finds HARMs employed forward of
the FSCL, because that is the normal location for enemy air
defense systems. When attacking targets forward of the FSCL
then, ECMOs need to ensure that the suspect energy source is well
clear of the FSCL. Adhering to this geographic separation
procedure should preclude fratricide, because Q-36 positions are
normally several kilometers behind the FSCL. This buffer of
several kilometers should provide ample space separation needed
to protect friendly radar.
To simply determine that the energy source is coming from
beyond the FSCL is only the first of a two-part process in
determining whether to launch a HARM. The second part must
determine if the footprint falls short of the FSCL.
If a pilot suspects the target is beyond the FSCL, but that
the footprint may fall short of the FSCL, the HARM should not be
launched unless coordination occurs. Coordination of the
footprint area could involve several agencies. Nevertheless, the
FSCC should be ultimately responsible for coordinating the
effort. The air officer in the FSCC would coordinate the firing
of a mission of this type between the Q-36 radar and the
appropriate air agency, most likely the Direct Air Support
Center. The simplest way to coordinate in this case would be to
stop the Q-36 radar from cueing during the HARM time of flight.
If the Q-36 does not emit during the time of flight of the HARM,
then it cannot become a target for the HARM, even if the
footprint included the Q-36 area. In situations where our radars
are dangerously close to the enemy, pilots can further protect
friendly radar through their launch alignment, i.e., to ensure
the Q-36 radar is on line between the aircraft position and the
enemy radar position. (II) ECMO calculations can then reasonably
ensure that the HARM does not arm itself until it is safely past
the Q-36 area and on its way into enemy territory.
Coordination short of the FSCL as described above is not
normally practiced. Warnings to deconflict are usually not
necessary since HARM-carrying aircraft usually employ well
forward of the FSCL. Little or no training occurs in this area;
training then, as in the first solution, would be an important
factor in refining this solution. If all parties involved
routinely trained in an environment full of friendly and enemy
emitters, we would certainly improve our existing procedures.
I will now discuss the shortcomings of this solution. Prior
to the start of an armed conflict, separating friendly locations
from enemy locations is not difficult. Locations can be
pinpointed and coordination measures can be passed to all
applicable units. But when the shooting starts and units
frequently move and displace long distances, awareness of
friendly and enemy locations becomes more confusing. Keeping
all concerned parties aware of the friendly positions on the
battlefield may be impossible. The faster the pace and movement
on the battlefield, the more difficult it becomes to ensure
separation between the Q-36 and the HARM-carrying aircraft.
Nonlinear battlefields make this separation exponentially harder
than in a linear battlefield.
Geographic separation between the Q-36 radar and HARMs
is even more complicated than it appears because of the HARM
footprint. Simplified, the HARM footprint is like a flashlight
beam. If the aircraft is low and directly over the target, the
beam or footprint will be small. Raise the beam or the aircraft
and point it out at an angle, and the maneuver space or footprint
gets larger. So the size of the footprint or field of view
depends on the aircraft's altitude and distance from the target
at the time of the HARM launch. Furthermore, only the locale of
the emission can be determined and not the exact location.
Obviously, the first check to be made is to ensure the locale is
in enemy territory. More important, is to ensure that the
footprint does not encompass friendly radar territory.
Geographic separation is a complex feat since the HARM is so
"smart." This is especially true if the HARM launch is near the
forward edge of the battle area. In the fratricide example
discussed, the HARM launched at an Iraqi Flap Wheel radar located
on the enemy side of the FSCL. However, during the 47-mile 2-
minute time of flight of the HARM to the Flap Wheel, the Flap
Wheel stopped emitting. The HARM then opened its field of view
and began searching for other energies, secondary and tertiary.
Sadly the new field of view encompassed an area on the friendly
side of the FSCL where a Q-36 radar was emitting. (26) That radar
then became home for the HARM. Determining the footprint's
location in relation to the FSCL becomes even more difficult when
you consider that the HARM arms at different distances from the
aircraft depending on the method of launch employed. (12:87)
The importance of the footprint's relationship to the FSCL
can be seen in this situation. In a nonlinear battlespace
without distinct lines there is no friendly or enemy side.
Friendly and enemy forces may be so mingled that an FSCL may be
impossible to establish. Emitters mingled with each other in a
nonlinear battlespace coupled with the chaos of battle make
reliance on geographic separation exponentially harder to the
point of being impossible. In ODS, where we saw rapid advances
on a featureless desert, separation was so difficult that
The third and final topic I will discuss is radar operator
awareness and enforcement of Q-36 radar survivability measures.
By definition, these are not solutions. They are steps that
Marines can take to protect themselves from HARMs if neither
technical nor nontechnical solutions solve the problem.
The first step is to increase radar operator awareness of
the problem. An article by MAJ Curry recommended that the
Artillery School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, send an official warning
advisory to all artillery units informing radar crews that they
are sitting on a "HARM magnet." (6:17) The rationale being that
the warning would provide motivation for the crew to practice
extensive survivability measures. The Marine Corps Systems
Command Liaison Officer at Fort Sill, in a counter-article,
responded that an official advisory would not be sent since they
feel the problem is common knowledge, thereby rendering a warning
unnecessary. (8:11) Further, an examination of both the Q-36
radar operator's technical manual (TM) and the basic field
artillery target acquisition FM, reveal no warnings at all to
operators that they may be sitting on a HARM magnet. (13, 14)
Obviously, the Artillery School assumes this is a well-known
fact among the artillerymen who operate the Q-36 radar; it is
not. I have been an artillery officer for 14 years with typical
artillery Fleet Marine Force experience. Until the fratricide
example described above occurred, I was unaware that Q-36s could
attract HARMs. I can only guess as to some of the reasons for
the omission in the manuals, though, none of those can justify
the life of a Marine. Therefore, we should make no assumptions
and place prominent warnings in the TM and FM, send official
advisories to all artillery units worldwide, and emphasize this
fact in all formal Q-36 radar course instruction.
This warning to operators would provide specific motivation
for implementing the second part of this final topic, Q-36 radar
survivability measures. The FM dealing with target acquisition
discusses most of these passive protection measures, nonetheless
they need to be emphasized in training and thoroughly practiced
to provide the protection our Marines deserve. We cannot simply
pay lip service to these measures. They must become a routine
part of operations instead of occasional training. (3, 18)
The FM outlines specific survivability measures requiring
emphasis. They are reducing the radiating time, narrowing the
sector of search, and selecting the optimum site. (14:4-16)
Measures not specifically mentioned in the FM, that should be
added, are to remote the antenna to the maximum distance
possible, and to displace nonessential personnel from the
Reducing the radiating time can increase survivability. Any
time a radar radiates it is susceptible to detection. The
shorter time the radar radiates, the less likely it is to be
found by the enemy, and the less likely it is to become home for
a HARM. Therefore, the maximum allowable radiating times as
depicted in the survivability flowchart in the FM must be
strictly adhered to.
Narrowing the sector of search can increase survivability.
The radar can search a sector 1600 mils wide. However, the beam
can and should be narrowed to search only the minimum required
area to accomplish the mission. This will reduce the radar's
electronic signature and improve survivability.
Selecting the optimum site can increase survivability. When
positioning the radar, consideration must be given to both
mission and protection. Ideally, the radar position not only
allows the radar to perform the mission, but also maximizes
protection to the crew and radar. The positions providing the
most protection use screening crests, and nearby vegetation to
absorb side, tip, and back lobes of radiation. Absorbing this
"bleed off" radiation is also known as "tunneling." Tunneling
can also be accomplished by using sandbags if vegetation is
Remoting the antenna to the maximum distance possible can
increase survivability. Three components comprise the Q-36
radar. A generator to power the system, a shelter where the
operators work, and a trailer containing the antenna and all
radiating elements. The trailer is the component of the radar
that radiates. Remoting the radiating part as far away as the
remote cables allow, currently 50 meters, is critical to
survival. Even more important would be to remote the shelter to
a protective site. If a protective site does not exist, sandbags
or armor shielding should be used to protect the Marines. (10:4)
Remoting to further distances may be possible in the future.
According to the Marine Q-36 PM, the near-term solution to
remoting should be solved with the fielding of Version Eight of
the Q-36 product improvement program. This program will provide
100 meter-long remoting cables. (16) The Army Radar Division at
Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, is currently researching a long-term
remoting modification. This Bi-Static Program should allow for
separation of up to 10km between a transmit and receive antenna.
(8:11) Both these programs will further enhance survivability.
Finally, displacing nonessential personnel from the
immediate area can increase survivability. Catastrophically, the
Marine who was killed during the discussed fratricide incident
was not one of the operators in the shelter. He was not even on
duty. At the time of his death, the Marine was in a nearby High
Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle brewing hot chocolate. Why
was he nearby? Why was he not in a protective area? These
questions can go on and on, but the point is that personnel not
at work in the shelter should be out of the area and in a
protective position. If he had been, he would probably be alive
We know that Marine Q-36 weapon locating radars emit energy
in the same frequency range as enemy radar. These radars have
and will continue to become targets for our own HARMs if we do
not implement corrective action. As a military leader you have
four choices. One, you can wait for the technocrats and
budgeters to find a solution to the IFF problem. Second, you can
wait for doctrine and training standards to be developed,
staffed, approved, printed, and finally distributed to the Fleet
Marine Force. Three, you can wait for T/O changes to form a
permanent S/EWCC under the G-3. Or four, you can implement
corrective action now.
Implement the recommended doctrine and training, ensure
geographic separation, improve pilot situational awareness,
increase radar operator awareness, and enforce Q-36 radar
survivability measures. Put these procedures in your unit
standard operating procedures and begin training tomorrow. The
procedures above may not be a foolproof solution to the friendly
fire problem, nonetheless they are an improvement and do decrease
the likelihood of having another fratricide case of this type.
Until we find a technological solution, this is the least we can
do. The recommended procedures will immediately allow us to
better safeguard our friendly emitters and Marines while aircraft
employ the HARM.
Is there a big difference between an ODS friendly fire count
of 34 or 35? Is one death significant? Ask the family of the
dead warrior. COL Robert Jenkins, the Air Force's deputy
director for general purpose forces, when asked to comment on
fratricide said, "Any instance is too many. I can't live with
that." (1) Can you? Do you take immediate action now or do you
wait? You should take immediate action; to do anything else
would be unconscionable!
1. Bird, Julie. "Air-to-ground error named in 10 friendly-
fire incidents." Army Times, 2 September 1991, p. 23.
2. Bird, Julie. "Moral Support - Air liaison officers hold
the line of fire to keep fratricide at bay." Army Times, 2
September 1991, p. 22.
3. Brooks, Kevin D., CWO-4, USMC, Assistant Chief of the
MET Division. Telephone interview about the Q-36 radar. Fort
Sill, OK, January 26, 1993.
4. Campbell, William H., BG, USA. "Electronic Defense on the
Modern Battlefield." Journal of Electronic Defense, 14 (October 1991),
5. Courson, Michael W., CW4, USA, TA Radar/RDTE Technician.
Telephone interviews about the Q-36 radar. Fort Monmouth, NJ, December
18, 1992; January 19, 1993.
6. Curry, David H., Major, USMC. "AN/TPQ-36 Lessons." Fire
Support Quarterly, (September 1992), 15-17.
7. Darling, R.C., Major, USMC, MARCORSYSCOM Liaison Officer.
Telephone interview about the Q-36 radar. Fort Sill, OK, January 4, 1993.
8. Darling, R.C., Major, USMC. "Update on the Q-36/HARM
Fratricide Issue." Fire Support Quarterly, (December 1992), 11-12.
9. DeMonte, Vito. "Avoiding Fratricide - Is the Endgame
Solution the Answer?" Journal of Electronic Defense, 15 (July 1992),
10. Fickett, Richard K., Col(R), USA. "Enhance Firefinder
Survivability." Field Artillery, PB6-92-1(February 1992), 4-5.
11. Haberstadt, Gordon B., Major, USMC, EA-6B ECMO. Personal
interview about HARM employment. Quantico, VA, December 14, 1992.
12. Hampton, Dan, Capt, USAF. "Combat Defense Suppression -
The F-4G/F-l6C Wild Weasels at War." Journal of Electronic Defense,
14 (October 1991), 87-91.
13. Headquarters, Department of the Army. Communications-
Electronics Command. Operator's Manual for Radar Set AN TPQ-36,
TM 11-5840-354-10-1. Fort Monmouth 1990.
14. Headquarters, Department of the Army. HQ TRADOC. Tactics,
Techniques, and Procedures for Field Artillery Target Acquisition, FM
6-121. Fort Sill. 1990.
15. Jane's Publishing Company Limited. Jane's Weapon Systems
1987-88. London, England, 1988.
16. Matthews, Alan J., CWO-4, USMC, Target Acquisition Officer,
Program Manager -- Ground Weapons. Personal interview about the
Q-36 radar. Quantico, VA, December 16,1992.
17. Office of the Chairman. The Joint Chiefs of Staff. Electronic
Warfare in Joint Military Operations, Jt Pub 3-51. Washington, D.C., 1991.
18. Pennington, Stephen V., CWO-2, USMC, Radar Instructor,
Target Acquisition Division. Telephone interview about the Q-36 radar.
Fort Sill, OK, January 26, 1993.
19. Roberts, Jim, LCdr, USN, HARM Fleet Effectiveness and
Suitability Officer. Telephone interview about the HARM. China Lake,
California, January 21, 1993.
20. Steele, Dennis. "Multipronged Army Approach - Keeping
Friendly Fire Friendly." Army, 42(March 1992), 30-34.
21. U.S. Marine Corps. Landing Force Training Command,
Atlantic. Introduction to the Organizations, Capabilities and Limitations
of Supporting Arms, Student Outline. Little Creek, Norfolk. 1989.
22. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Close Air Support and Close-in Fire Support, FMFM
5-4A. Quantico, 1988.
23. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Electronic Warfare, FMFM 7-12. Quantico, 1991.
24. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Electronic Warfare in Combined Arms, FMFRP 15-5.
25. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Electronic Warfare in Counterfire Operations, Fire
Support in SWA, MCLLS No. 00866-75638 (00802). Quantico, 1991.
26. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Fratricide - Investigation of the HARM Attack on an
AN/TPQ-36 Radar, MCLLS No. 31746-48322 (02161). Quantico, 1992.
27. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Ground Combat Operations, OH 6-1. Quantico,1988.
28. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. HARM Fratricide, MCLLS No. 60430-46810 (06485).
29. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Offensive Air Support, FMFM 5-40. Quantico, 1992.
30. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, OH 5-4C.
31. U.S. Marine Corps. Marine Corps Combat Development
Command. Techniques and Procedures for Fire Support
Coordination, FMFM 6-18. Quantico, 1992.
32. U.S. of America. Department of Defense. Conduct of the
Persian Gulf War -- Final Report to Congress, April 1992.
33. Watson, Kenneth C., Major, USMC, Electronic Warfare
Doctrine Action Officer/EA-6B Pilot. Personal interviews
about the HARM/Q-36 problem. Quantico, VA, January 11,
1993; January 14, 1993.
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