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MANEUVERABILITY OF MILITARY

RADAR IN MODERN BATTLE

Engr (Gp Capt) Segun Fanu, BSc (Hons), MSc, MNSE, REngr
Electronics Engineering Maintenance School
320 Technical Training Group
Nigerian Air Force Kaduna
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INTRODUCTION

1. A military radar can be considered as a searchlight looking for enemy targets.


Energy sent out by the radar would be reflected by the target and processed. Military
radars, whether land based, ship borne or air borne have acted as a multiplier and
sensor par excellence for over 60 years. For example, in the battle in Britain where it
enable a small overstretched force to beat off attacks from a larger opponent and in the
gulf war where ground surveillance radar enable monitoring of the opponent
deployment. However, with the proliferation of stealthy targets, which are difficult to see
with radar, sensitive radar homing and warning systems, which allow targets to avoid
radar systems, the effectiveness and survivability of military radar have reduced.

2. Furthermore, there have been rapid development of sophisticated jamming


systems and anti-radiation missiles (ARMS) to suppress, identify and destroy radar
systems. Like radar itself, counter measures are a two-edged sword. Friend and
enemy can use them effectively. However, no matter how sophisticated one s counter-
measures are, ways could be found around them and no matter how ingenious the
counter-counter – measure are ways can be found to defeat them, and so no and so
forth.

3. Although, little attention has been given to radar development in the Nigerian
Armed Forces, this piece of information could be handy for military hardware designer
and war planners. This paper will therefore discuss new trends in the use of radar in
the battlefield .the concept of low probability of interaction, millimetric wave and laser
radar technology will be examined. In addition, the potential application of radar in
landmine detection will be highlighted.
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CONCEPT OF LOW PROBABILITY OF INTERCEPTION

4. Low probability of Interception (LPI) implies that the radar can be usefully
interrogating an enemy while having a low probability of being intercepted by the
enemy.1 By intercept, it means this the enemy’s electronic counter-measures (ECM)
receivers must detect, correctly identify and locate the source of the radar signal.
Consequently, the basic requirement is to see and not be seen.

5. The implementation of an LIP could be achieved using narrow main-lobe and


extremely low side-lobes in the radar radiation patter.
Meanwhile, an under-used concept is the separation of the transmitter and receiver
by some considerable distance. Application of this technique involves the use of cheap
transmitters with the Personnel and complex processing equipment at the silent and
undetectable receiver site. This technique is called Bistatic and would probably
minimize the enemy’s ECM capability.

6. In addition, power management technique will ensure that minimum power is


radiated, consistent with the radar cross section of the target. Thus, the radar would be
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turned on only when it is operationally essential. However, when it has locked onto a
target, power reduction will be applied as the target’s range decreases.2

MILLIMETRIC WAVE TECHNOLOGY

7. The radar frequencies are in the range of 1 - 10 Giga Hertz (GHz) but there are
major developments in the use of higher frequency bands (35 GHz+) to allow the
synthesis of narrower bandwidths or the beam-width with a smaller dimension of
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antenna. This concept, which started in the late 70’s allowed weapon designers to
consider using shorter wavelength radar to guide air-to-ground missiles. Subsequently,
microprocessors that could process radar signals in small volume were developed.
Thus, solid state technologies of millimetric wave components are now available.
However, the cost implementation is prohibitive, especially for developing countries.
Nevertheless, the requirement for small and high accuracy tends to outweigh the cost
disadvantage.

LASER RADAR

8. The advent of the Light Amplification by Simulation of Emitted Radiation (LASER)


technology in the 60s added a new dimension to radar systems. The Laser radars are
true radars employing traditional radar architecture, conventional radar waveform and
common radar signal processing techniques. However, the transmitter and receiver
employ conventional electro-optical technology such as infrared detectors and
telescopes.

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Conventional Radar

DISPLAY PROCESSING MIXER T/R SW ANTENNA

LOCAL POWER
OSCILLATOR OSCILLATOR

Laser Radar

DISPLAY PROCESSING DETECTOR T/R TELESCOPE


MIRROR

Local Osc TX LASER


LASER

8. Although, the term Laser Radar is being used, it is not scientifically accurate.
There are 2 variations:
a. LADAR. Ladar is the classic laser radar using radar technology at
infrared wavelength.
b. LIDAR. Lidar is restricted to the use of infrared laser for environmental
sensing.

Ladars yield impressive resolution comparable to that of human vision. Consequently,


it allows precise pointing and tracking to be achieved. In addition, it allows the
possibility of target detection in highly cluttered environment as well as providing
opportunities for performing non-cooperative target identification.

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DETECTION OF LANDMINES

9. There are some 100 million landmines that have been abandoned in over 60
countries following conflicts around the world and which are still active. Whilst these
mines remain in the ground and uncleared in Afghanistan, Angola, Myanmar,
Cambodia etc, they will continue to kill, injure and disable people. At present the
methods used to clear them are cumbersome, costly, and dangerous.4

10. The technology of ground penetrating radar uses Ultrawideband (UWB)


techniques. It has the potential of providing fast landmine detection and visual
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interpretation with the possibility of formulation of mine fingerprints or signatures.
Success has already been recorded in the detection of mines. For example the US
Army Research Laboratory, Maryland has recently reported that the radar it has
developed can detect buried landmines as small as 10 square cm. Fitted to a robot
aircraft, the radar can map minefields without anyone setting foot on them.
Alternatively, the radar could be fitted to the top of a pole mounted on a vehicle driven
at about one km/hr.

CONCLUSION

11. Radars can be made more maneuverable in modern battle by the use low
probability of interception techniques coupled with greater use of higher frequency
band system. The migration to higher frequencies add accuracy to radar systems,
reduces the size of the antenna and yields impressive resolution comparable to that of
human vision. Although, the battlefield is dangerous for the radar, more sophisticated
technologies and novel design and deployment concepts will ensure that radar
maintains its defensive and offensive roles in the modern military arsenal.

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REFERENCES

1. Future of military Radar-Crown Copyright lnc-2003.

2. The Continued Relevance of Radar in Today’s Battle-Wg Cdr Lew Paterson (rtd)
RAF- 2003.

3. Communication Electronics – Kennedy Mcgaw Hill.

4. Radar Detection of Landmines – Dr Y Yerima – A Paper Presented at the


Faculty of Engineering Seminar, NDA May 2004.

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