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Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics

Figure 1: AN/TPS-73

Figure 1: AN/TPS-73

frequency: 2.7 … 2.9 GHz (S band)
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF):
pulsewidth (τ):
receiving time:
dead time:
peak power: 10 kW
average power: 1,1 kW
instrumented range: 60 NM (≙ 110 km)
range resolution: 230 m
accuracy: range: 60 m,
azimuth: 0.18°
beamwidth: β= 1.45°, ε= 5°
hits per scan:
antenna rotation: 12 or 15 rpm
MTBCF: 5 000 hrs
MTTR: 1.4 hr


AN/TPS-73 is a completely solid-state primary surveillance S band multi-functional radar that can be used as a long-range tactical air traffic control radar, or for gap-filling and surveillance duties. It is combined with a monopulse secondary surveillance radar system. The system was designed to meet the air traffic control requirements of surveillance, detection, tracking, and identification in an adverse clutter and electronic countermeasures environment. The full band pulse-to-pulse frequency agility transmission of low-peak-power-coded waveforms provides the quiet radar characteristics necessary for survivability, while simultaneously maintaining high target visibility throughout the surveillance volume. The power amplifier of the transmitter consists of solid-state modules each providing 300 watts of pulse power.

The Alenia-built open-mesh, truncated paraboloid antenna is illuminated by dual beams for better clutter performance. It can be fed by horizontal or circular polarization. The low-noise receiver applies Adaptive Moving-Target Detection (AMTD) and high-resolution ground-clutter maps to suppress clutter and range/azimuth adaptive threshholding of the Doppler filters to sharpen the radar’s sensitivity to targets. The autotracker can maintain 600 known tracks or 300 tentative tracks simultaneously. To resist Electronic Countermeasures (ECM), the radar applies pulse-to-pulse or burst-to-burst frequency agility as well as automatic selection of an unjammed frequency.

The AN/TPS-73 is contained in a single 10 feet ISO shelter that also provides storage during transport for the antenna group components. It is transportable by land, sea or air (C-130, CH-53).

The AN/TPS-73 was purchased by the Marine Corps in 1990 and was also used in the Iraq war. 18 TPS-73 radars have been delivered to the US military as part of USMC’s Marine ATC And Landing System (MATCALS). It was manufactured by Paramax (a Unisys company) and later by Lockheed Martin Tactical Defense Systems in Great Neck, New York, and Alenia SpA of Rome, Italy. It will now be replaced by the multi-function radar AN/TPS-80 “G/ATOR”.

The radar was manufactured under license by Alenia (later Selex ES, now Leonardo) and sold under the name Argos 73.[1]

Sources and ressorces:

  1. Manufacturers Leaflet (186 kByte)