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HAWK Radars

The TSQ-73 HAWK/Improved HAWK air defense missile control and coordination system, also called Missile Minder, consists of the following components:

  • The AN/MPQ-46 HAWK High Power Illuminator (HIPIR) Radar, a high power illuminator radar set. The early AN/MPQ-46 High Power Illuminator (HPI) radars had only the two large dish-type antennas side by side, one to transmit and one to receive. This X (I/J)?band (3.75 to 2.25 cm) radar automatically acquires and tracks targets in azimuth, elevation, and range. The target track is continued throughout the flight of the missile, and after interception, the data are used for a kill evaluation. This component contains ECCM and built-in test equipment. The High Power Illuminator (HPI) uses the target information from the CWAR and PAR, and rapidly locks a narrow radar beam on designated targets and determines launch parameters for the missile. The high-power illuminator radar (HIPIR) tracks the targets and provides a reference signal to the missile. After missile launch, the HPI tracks and illuminates the target for the missile's semiactive guidance. The missile homes on the target by continuous comparison of the transmitted signal of the HIPIR with the reflected signal from the target. Using this information to make continuous adjustments in its course, the Hawk missile flies a proportional navigation course to the kill point.
  • AN/MPQ-48 Improved Continuous Wave Acquisition Radar [CWAR] provides for the detection of aircraft flying at the lowest altitudes in the presence of heavy ground clutter. Enhanced capability data processing is incorporated in the system. Frequency modulated ranging and built-in test equipment are included, as is an automatic data processor. The CWAR and the Pulse Acquisition Radar (PAR) automatically detect the targets and provide data to the Command Post (CP). The CP operators assess target threats and engage the targets either automatically or semi-automatically.
  • The AN/MPQ-50 is the Pulse Acquisition Radar (PAR) of the HAWK Air Defense System. It provides target range and azimuthinformation for the system. The PAR antenna is a 1.6 x 6.7 mcosecant-squared, prime-fed, parabolic reflector which operates in acontinuous scan only mode. The primary source of high- to medium-altitude aircraft detection for the battery. Working in L (D)-band (30 to 15 cm), the radar is an all-weather system; a moving target indicator is provided for enhanced detection capability in high clutter. Several ECCM features are included in this radar. The pulse acquisition radar (PAR) provides medium-to-high-altitude, medium-range detection coverage. Following detection, the information coordination central (ICC) allows for target IFF, and automatic data processing (ADP) of target information. The battery control central (BCC) displays target information received over the Army tactical data link (ATDL) from the AN/TSQ-73, as well as information received from the radars and the ICc. The tactical control officer (in the BCC) selects targets (4) for engagement and assigns them to a firing section.
  • The AN/MPQ-51 Range Only Radar (ROR\IROR) is part of the HAWK Air Defense System. It provides target range information for the system. The ROR antenna is a 1.22 m parabolic reflector which operates in acontinuous scan only mode. This K (K)-band (1.5 to 1 cm) radar provides quick-response range measurements when the other radars (1, 2, and 6 above) are electronically jammed. This radar transmits only when commanded. In an electronic countermeasures environment, the ROR furnishes ranging information for target engagement.

By late 1975 the AN/TSQ-73 (Missile Minder) had successfully completed the second phase of Developmental and Operational Testing. Following DT/OT II and IIA, the system was type classified Limited Procurement (LP) for the production of four systems (one initial production test model and three laboratory-configured trainers). The initial production test model were used for DT/OT III while the trainers were used by the Air Defense School for training operators and maintenance personnel.

The AN/TSQ-73 is an automatic data processing Air Defense Command and Control System programmed to replace the currently fielded AN/MSG-4 Fire Distribution System. The AN/TSQ-73 system, designed for use with Nike Hercules and Hawk units, was fielded in both the battalion and the group level configurations. The basic AN/TSQ-73 consists of a general-purpose digital computer with two central processing units, input/output devices, two general purpose display consoles, radar interface and processing unit, communications interface units, simulation unit and a digital data display group. The track handling capacity of the Missile Minder was more than twice that of its predecessor. Design goals for the system included better reliability and easier maintainability.

The AN/TSQ-73 system is an electronic AD command and control system designed to provide essential tactical command to SAM firing units in defense against hostile aircraft. Specifically, the AN/TSQ-73 Missile Minder is a fifth generation AD command and control system developed to provide the AD commander with the resources necessary to effectively carry out his AD mission. Capable of operating at either battalion or brigade level, the mission of the AN/TSQ-73 is to furnish information for the command and control of individual fire units, coordinate the actions of subordinate systems, and provide an interface with other services and the US Army systems.

The key features of the AN/TSQ-73 are: two self-contained situation display consoles, radar interface equipment, ADP equipment, and communications equipment capable of providing automatically processed digital data communications and advanced voice communications.

The AN/TSQ-73 is a reliable, mobile, easily transportable, compact, and automated command control system. The extensive use of microelectronic digital circuitry to replace discrete, component digital elements and a number of analog elements resulted in size, weight, and power reductions that enable the entire system to be housed in single mobile shelter. The shelter is designed to withstand worldwide environmental conditions. Due to the modular design of the system equipment, the baseline AN/TSQ-73 is easily expanded for increased AD missions or for modified roles and missions. The system is programmable and compatible with a wide range of radars and other command and control systems. It can be deployed anywhere in the world. Featuring built-in test equipment and fault detection, the AN/TSQ-73 system maintenance is accomplished by replacing defective parts. Computer-controlled diagnostic programs and in-shelter spare parts are used to maintain a short Mean-Time-to-Repair. All equipment used in the system is designed and constructed to permit access to all modules without removal of any other module. Short downtime and high reliability enable the AN/TSQ-073 to meet stringent availability standards essential to AD control systems. The AN/TSQ-73 is self-transportable when the shelter is mounted on a cargo truck. It can also be transported by ship, rail, or air, and is skid mounted for transport by helicopter.

The AN/TSQ-73 system can be operated at either battalion or brigade level. The battalion system provides control and coordination of individual fire units. The group system acts as overall activity director, coordinating the actions of subordinate battalion systems, and providing AN/TSQ-73 interface with other services and US Army systems. A battalion system can handle 24 individual fire units and a group system is capable of coordinating the actions of 48 individual fire units. In the absence of a brigade system, battalion AN/TSQ-73 assumes brigade functions as a master battalion.




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