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AN/UPS-3 Tactical Defense Alert Radar (TDAR)

The Tactical Defense Alert Radar [TDAR] is one of two Army systems for early warning in the airhead. The TDAR is a short range (20 kilometer); two-dimensional radar used for cueing Stinger and Avenger gunners to beyond line-of-sight air targets. The minimum and maxi- mum detection altitudes of the TDAR is from 0 to +10,000 feet. The TDAR can be airdropped with the air defense unit, and then linked by wire or radio to all air defense units in the airhead. The TDAR has a 20-kilometer range, which provides a warning of air attack by low-flying aircraft (fixed-wing helicopters or hovering helicopters). The time of the warning varies, depending on air speed (fixed-wing can be one to two minutes in advance while rotary-wing may be up to ten minutes in advance). The TDAR can be mounted on a pedestal or in a HMMWV. The TDAR is generally employed at the section leader's position but may be employed at any level.

It is capable of detecting helicopters from 8 to 10 kilometers and fixed-wing aircraft from 20 kilometers at speeds ranging from 50 knots to 1.6 mach. The minimum target velocity for target detection is 70 knots for fixed- wing aircraft and 50 knots for rotary wing air- craft within 8 kilometers of the radar. Target detection accuracy is within 300 meters. The system can be remoted from the command post position from 2 kilometers when using the RTU external power source such as a generator and WF16 data wire. [NOTE: WD1 (slash/field wire) has a greater resistance value than that of WF16 data wire. If WD1 slash wire is used the maximum remote distance is reduced to no greater than 50 feet before degra- dation and is not recommended for use.] The AN/UPS-3 operates within the delta band of the (military) radar spectrum and has a selectable frequency range of 1.215 to 1.299 gigahertz (GHz), which is displayed on the transceiver as fre- quencies 00 through 07

This modular system has three subsystems: a detec- tion device (sensor), a processing system, and a display terminal. It weighs approximately 237 pounds when assembled. Operating tem- peratures range from -25 to 140F. The TDAR is also able to oper- ate in winds gusting up to 60 knots and can be powered by a variety of sources, 24-volt (V) power from the HMMWV, 120V household power (U.S.) with the use of the supplied power converter or autho- rized generator. The TDAR is packed in four reusable transport cases. The pressure relief valves on each case should be pressed to equalize internal case pressure before the case cover is opened. Equipment setup consists of quadripod setup, pedestal installation, antenna installa- tion, antenna elevation adjustment, transceiver installation, pedestal and antenna alignment, cable connections, and remote terminal unit installation and setup.

In August 2000 the Marine Corps Systems Command awarded a sole source contract to British Aerospace Electronics at BAE Systems, Aircraft Controls, Santa Monica, California, for engineering changes/upgrades for the AN/UPS-3 Tactical Defense Alert Radar (TDAR). British Aerospace is the original equipment manufacturer. These engineering changes will encompass all aspects of TDAR performance, reliability, maintainability, and integration into Marine Corps and Joint littoral air defense architectures. Modifications and upgrades to TDAR hardware and software will range in scope from minor to significant.

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