AN/TPQ-53 (EQ-36) Firefinder radar system

Lockheed Martin has received a firm fixed price contract from the US Army Product Manager for Radars (PdM Radars) for supply of its AN/TPQ-53 (EQ-36) Firefinder radar system to enhance the capabilities of soldiers.

The $881m contract has one $166m base year for producing 12 systems and two option years, which could yield up to 51 systems and also covers all training and testing support, including a limited user test (LUT) as well as initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E).

PdM Radars lieutenant colonel Robert Thomas said the radar will bolster the level of protection for soldiers in the field, by expanding basic counter-fire radar capabilities in both 90 and 360 degree modes.

"This is a great example of the army and industry coming together to ultimately deliver a system that will greatly enhance situational awareness by providing the precise location of hostile indirect fire weapons," Thomas added.

The AN/TPQ-53 is a Quick Reaction Capability (QRC) mobile radar system designed to detect, classify and track in-flight projectiles fired from mortar, artillery, and rocket systems using a 90-degree or continuous 360-degree sector search.

Featuring improved operational and physical functionality over the currently used AN/TPQ 36 radars systems, the radar provides target location of threat indirect fire systems with sufficient accuracy allowing for more effective detection and counter-battery actions.

The army conducted three QRC AN/TPQ-53 radar test events at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in October 2010, January 2011, and June 2011, which focused on acquiring threat rocket, artillery, mortar fires, and the radar’s integration with the Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar (CRAM) system.

Initial fielding of the 12 initial QRC AN/ TPQ 53 radars was completed by the army in July 2011 in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the remaining radars will be fielded during 2012-2014.

Image: Lockheed-built AN/ TPQ 53 radar offers improved basic counter-fire radar capabilities in both 90 and 360 degree modes. Photo: US Army.