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Description of the radar set, tactical-technical characteristics

Figure 1: Cutaway view of the Paraballoon Antenna with AN/TPS-27.

Figure 1: Cutaway view of the Paraballoon Antenna with AN/TPS-27.

frequency: 2 700 … 2 900 MHz
pulse repetition time (PRT):
pulse repetition frequency (PRF): 300 Hz
pulsewidth (τ): 6 ±0.5 µs
receive time:
dead time:
peak power: 3.5 MW
average power: 6.3 kW
instrumented range: 250 NM (≙ 463 km)
range resolution:
hits per scan:
antenna rotation:


AN/TPS-27 was operating in S-Band long-range 3D air surveillance radar system, known as the “golf ball” radar, as it was housed inside an inflatable radome. The radar was developed in the late 1960s.

The AN/TPS-27 used a so-called Paraballoon Antenna. The Paraballoon is an inflatable antenna made of plastic with embedded metallic particles. Its reflector consists of a partially metallized area into a ballon with a diameter of 30 ft. The antenna feed was a stacked beam of 12 feedhorns. The entire TX/RX- equipment, the antenna and the balloon with the reflector were rotating into the radome.

This kind of antenna is very easy to install. Therefore this radar was transportable but not highly mobile.

In 1981 the AN/TPS-27 was replaced with the lightweight transportable AN/TPS-43.

Picture gallery of AN/TPS-27

Figure 2: Radome of the AN/TPS-27 (Royal Australian Air Force)