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Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics

Figure 1: AN/SPG-49
(cropped from pic of www.navysite.de)

Figure 1: AN/SPG-49
(cropped from www.navysite.de)

frequency: 5 400 … 5 900 MHz
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF):
pulsewidth (τ):
receiving time:
dead time:
peak power: 3 MW
average power:
instrumented range: 150 NM (≙ 275 km)
range resolution: 150 ft
accuracy: 0.025%; 0.25 mil
beamwidth: 1.8°
hits per scan:
antenna rotation:
MTBCF: 30 hrs


AN/SPG-49 was operating in C-band fire control radar for the U.S. Navy’s RIM-8 Talos shipboard air defense systems. It used a three-gimbal system – azimuth, elevation, and traverse – which allowed scanning and tracking throughout the hemisphere. The AN/SPG-49 combined a monopulse tracking radar and a continuous wave illumination radar into the one antenna. The radar transmitters power for the aquisition and tracking radar was generated by a liquid cooled klystron and were located inside the antenna itself.

The AN/SPG-49 performed three functions. During target acquisition the antenna radiated 3 MW pulsed bearing and azimuth sweeps to determine range, bearing and altitude of a target. The antenna consists of a Foster Scanner feeding a folded reflector and utilizes a lens aperture with an overall diameter of 110 inch and a fiberglass radome. After the target had been acquired the antenna switched to a pulsed 3 MW narrow beam tracking radar using a monopulse horn. When a missile closed range to a target the antenna also radiated a 5 kW continuous wave illumination beam that carried target identification information for the missile to home on.

The AN/SPG-49 was designed in 1947, and became obsolete with Talos at the end of 1979.

Sources and ressorces:

  1. Nicholas J. Willis, Hugh Griffiths: ''Advances in Bistatic Radar'' SciTech Publishing, 2007, ISBN 9781891121487 S.99 (online preview)
  2. Phillip R. Hays' home page