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AN/TPS-59(V)3 Radar Set

Aviation Radar (AN/TPS-59(V)3) is a national asset. It is the only fielded ground-based sensor which can detect and track long range Air Breathing Targets (ABT) within 300 nautical miles, as well as Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBM) at ranges of 400 nautical miles for 360 degrees and up to one million feet in elevation. AN/TPS-59(V)3 Radar Set is a solid state radar designed to provide long-range air surveillance. This three-dimensional (bearing, range, and target altitude), linear-phased array radar operates in the D band (1215-1400 megahertz). It consists of two shelters and an antenna that is transported on three single-axle trailers. The radar control shelter has two-position display consoles that provide a plan position indicator display, range height indicator display or both displays simultaneously. The radar's 54 transmitters are arranged in 54 rows and operated independently of each other. Azimuth scanning is by mechanical rotation of the antenna while phase controlled solid-state row-transmitters and row-receivers provide electronic scanning in elevation. It can also operate in the two-dimensional mode should its general-purpose computer fail. It includes four ARM decoy pallets. The AN/TPS-59 is connected to a TAOM via a fiber optic cable for passing ABT information and TBM track information.

Present AN/TPS-59, FPS-117 and TPS-117 radar antennas are constructed from linear arrays of horizontal dipole radiators integrated into a stripline corporate feed structure which distributes power to them. It is understood that a stripline is a form of a transmission line having a center conductor and an upper and lower ground plane. In the leading or forward edge of the ground plane, each of the dipoles are disposed or stamped into the metal skin thereof and then fed via the circuit and element feed so as to be coupled to one another using a corporate feed.

For transport configuration, the linear arrays comprising the PSR antenna each comprise three modules or sections. The "wing" sections of the linear arrays are vertically offset from the center section and connected thereto by two rotary joints. The rotary joints operate in conventional fashion to enable the "wing" sections to fold and interleave with the center section to provide an array in transport configuration. The wing sections are sized and coupled via the rotary joints in an appropriate manner so that a slight gap exists between the wing sections in transport mode so as to avoid damage to the array. The septum is similarly segmented in wing sections and center section and operates in similar manner. For the TPS-59 radar array in transport configuration, the width w is less than 96 inches wide (in contrast to the width w' in deployed mode, which is about 192 inches or 16 feet wide.)

Antenna applications such as Integrated Friend or Foe (IFF) or Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) systems have been implemented with long range Primary Surveillance Radars (PSR) such as the AN/TPS-59(V3), AN/TPS-59(M34), AN/FPS-117 and TPS-117 radar systems, for example. Such radar systems use a separate linear or planar array of radiators as an IFF or SSR antenna. The IFF or SSR antenna is typically physically bolted to the upper surface of the PSR antenna structure. In the case of the AN/TPS-59 and TPS-117 radars, the IFF or SSR antenna is a linear array of dipoles, cavity backed dipoles, or patches which must be physically removed from the PSR in order to relocate or transport the system. The time required to remove or replace the IFF or SSR antenna and the space required to stow it add significant problems to march order configuration, deployment time and transportation requirements, for example.

The AN/TPS-59 radar system was fielded in 1985 and upgraded to (V)3 in 1998, by adding the TBM capability. The US Marine Corps contracted General Electric and Raytheon to develop new radar, missile and launcher improvements for the HAWK. General Electric Ocean & Radar Systems Division, Syracuse, New York (now part of Lockheed Martin Corp), commenced work under a $43 million 27-month contract to modify existing TPS-59 ground-based air defense radars. The intent was to improve the system's ability to track targets 1 meter in size at up to 400 nautical miles at a 500,000 foot altitude. Technical, developmental, and operational testing was conducted in FY96, with the first units equipped in FY97.

The AN/TPS-59 has been modified to provide increased ability to detect, track, and process TBM targets and distribute those targets to the ADCP and TAOM.This improved radar provides land-based air surveillance for the Marine component of a naval force, and will contribute to the Navy's Cooperative Engagement Capability. This system is also capable of detecting and tracking multiple theater ballistic missiles, with point of origin/point of impact calculations in support of theater missile defense. TMD enhancements improve its range and altitude detection capabilities to 400 nautical miles and 500,000 feet respectively against ballistic missile targets. The TPS-59 has successfully demonstrated it capabilities against various short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, including successful intercepts of these targets.

The antenna array electronics must be maintained at a high level of performance for the radar to accurately detect and track targets. The level of performance required for TBMs is much greater than for ABTs. The deadline criteria for the array electronics will be based on the minimum required performance level for TBM detection. The radar is deadlined when six or more rows of electronics are down (faulty). It should be deadlined if it cannot detect or track air breathing targets (ABTs) or TBMs.

For each TBM track, there are three TBM messages passed via Link-16. The ballistic missile message contains vector and other descriptive data and covariance data. The reference point message contains launch point and impact point data. The data update request message contains multiple missile update capability and data selection capability.

The AN/TPS-59(V)3 is an indispensable part of the marine air command and control mission, providing positive control of friendly aircraft, detection of enemy aircraft and missiles, as well as providing situational awareness of the air picture for higher headquarters and the combatant commander. Expeditionary maneuver warfare doctrine dictates a net-centric warfare that includes the AN/TPS-59(V)3. The radar picture is capable of being shared with various TADIL links and thus, will continue to be an indispensable part of the marine air command and control mission. The an/tps-59(v)3 primarily supports MAGTF aviation during sustained operations ashore (SOA) as part of a joint theater air and missile defense architecture. This system was relied upon heavily by CENTCOM prior to the launch of OIF. Moreover, the AN/TPS-59(V)3 was used during OEF and OIF to provide both the MAGTF commander and the joint commander with a complete air picture to include fixed and rotary wing aircraft as well as theater ballistic missiles (TBM). Eight of the 11 TPS-59(V)3 systems were deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The AN/TPS-59(V)3 continues to be an integral part in the global war against terrorism. The high demand experienced during numerous operations, its few numbers, and its critical role at a national level present the AN/TPS-59(V)3 radar as a necessary candidate for mission essential equipment (MEE).

The AN/TPS-59(V)3 will be upgraded to incorporate the Composite Tracking Network. This network is similar to the Navy's cooperative engagement capability. It is designed to fuse data from multiple sensors to provide near-continual tracking and fire quality control data to air C2 and GBAD units. This capability will significantly enhance USMC capabilities to track ABT and TBM targets and engage them at maximum range. The Composite Tracking Network (CTN) is an adaptation of the US Navy's Cooperative Engagement Transmission Processing Set (CTEPS), modified to meet Marine Corps requirements. CTN will provide a sensor netting capability that will allow the Marine Corps to participate in a cooperative engagement environment.

CTN will be able to receive, generate, and distribute composite sensor data to C2 and weapons platforms. Consisting of durable, scaleable, and modular component, the CTN system will be employed by the MACCS and provide information to the network. This information will be derived from its organic sensors and those of other forces, improving real-time situational awareness. Specific Marine Air Control Group (MACG) units that will operate and maintain the system include, but are not limited to, the Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) and the Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion (LAAD Bn).

CTN facilitates broader air coverage of the battle force against all airborne threats. It enables land-based systems to expand their common air situational picture. CTN facilitates a broad-based, wide-area land and air defensive posture in support of joint tactical commanders and Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare.

As of 2004 CTN's initial operational capability was planned for FY 2007. As of mid-2007 CTN MS B was expected during 3rdQtr FY 07, with IOC scheduled for 3rdQtr FY 09.

In May 2006 the Senate Armed Services Committee bill authorized $5 million in funding for Lockheed Martin - Syracuse to continue their work on the AN/TPS-59 Low Earth Orbit Satellite (LEOS) Tracking system. The US Marine Corps AN/TPS-59 is a 360-degree, tactically mobile missile defense radar. To improve the protection of US Forces, the US Marine Corps will build upon this performance in air and missile defense by extending its capability further into the Joint environment. The Joint environment will have a network of many different sensors from all service branches observing the battle space. Low Earth Orbiting Satellites (LEOS) provide an additional reference point that improves track identification and registration accuracy. In the network-centric environment, this capability improves performance and reduces the risk of track misidentification and fratricide. The AN/TPS-59 has shown in experiments that it has the capability to detect and track Low Earth Orbiting Satellites, however this capability has not been integrated into the AN/TPS-59s in the field. Successful development and deployment of AN/TPS-59 LEOS tracking capability will allow the AN/TPS-59 to keep pace with the rapidly evolving Joint warfighting environment.

This legacy (20+ years-old) system is undergoing technology refresh to sustain it through the end of its estimated life cycle 2015. The original radar array was fielded in 1984 and is still in operation. On December 14, 2007 Lockheed Martin Corp., Maritime Systems and Sensors, Syracuse, N.Y., was awarded $88,390,000 modification to a previously awarded contract (M67854-05-D-2002 ) to increase the ceiling amount for the continued maintenance, sustainment and modernization of the AN/TPS-59(V)3 three-dimensional long-range radar system. This acquisition is for the continued post-production life cycle support of the AN/TPS-59 radar system and includes engineering studies, evaluations, and analysis in order to support system improvements, eliminate obsolescence, and capitalize on technology insertions. The contract provides for the design, development, production, and incorporation of hardware, software, and firmware in support of accepted Engineering Change Proposals (ECPs) into the end item baseline. The contract also provides for Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) for the provisioning of data products subsequent to ECP procurement, including but not limited to parts list identification data, engineering drawings, change pages to drawings, change pages to technical manuals and updates to interactive electronic technical manuals. Additionally, the contract provides CLS in the form of a vendor level maintenance program and contractor engineering and technical support services. Work will be performed in Syracuse, N.Y., and work is expected to be completed January 2011 if all options are exercised. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity (M67854-05-d-2002).

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