Army seeks to retool mobile radar to track drones

AN/TPQ-53 mobile radar. Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

AN/TPQ-53 mobile radar system. Photo credit: U.S. Army

WHAT: A sources-sought notice from the Army for software to expand the versatility of mobile radar to track threats posed by military drones.

WHY: More and more adversaries are adding armed drones to their roster of military capabilities. The U.S. Army is responding with a plan to equip existing AN/TPQ-53 mobile radar systems with new software that can detect, classify and track enemy drones.

A highly mobile system built by Lockheed Martin, the AN/TPQ-53 can be airlifted to conflict areas and trucked into battle zones by tactical vehicles. The system’s main function is to detect mortar, artillery and rocket fire.

Army officials want an updated software system that maintains all the current functionality of the AN/TPQ-53 while adding the ability to field threats from unmanned aerial systems. The new software should not require additional personnel to operate.

The requirement is described in contracting documents as "critical and urgent."

The Army wants to be able to test the new functionality at separate events in January and June 2017 and be ready for a formal capabilities and limitations assessment in January 2018, with an eye to having an updated system in place by June 2018. Replies from contractors to the sources-sought notice are due by Sept. 2.

Click here to read the notice.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 22, 2016 at 1:23 PM


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