FIRE CONTROL RADAR SYSTEMS
In the preceding chapter, you read about the basic
principles of radar operation. You also read about the
basic components of a radar system and their
relationship to each other. This chapter deals with
specific radar systems and terms associated with those
systems. You must understand those terms to get the
maximum benefit from the information contained in
this chapter. If you dont have a good understanding of
radar operation and theory, we suggest that you review
the following Navy Electricity and Electronics
Training Series (NEETS) modules: Microwave
Principles, Module 11, NAVEDTRA 172-11-00-87,
and Radar Principles, Module 18, NAVEDTRA
172-18-00-84. We also suggest that you refer to the
Functional Description section in your own technical
manuals for the specific operation of your radar
The Fire Controlman rating deals with a large
number of different radar systems, but you will
probably be trained in only one or two of these systems.
To help you develop a broad understanding of Fire
Control radar, we will first discuss the Fire Control
radars and sensors used in the Fleet today. We will do
t h i s
c a t e g o r y :
s e a r c h
r a d a r,
m i s s i l e
direction/illumination radar, multi-function radar, and
optronics systems. Then we will give you an overview
of upcoming developments in radar.
You may think the function of Fire Control radar is
to lock on to and identify a specific hostile target in
order to direct a weapon to destroy it. That is the
function of most FC radars. However, most FC radars
use a narrow beam to perform their function. This
makes using FC radar for locating a target impractical,
since a narrow beam can easily miss targets. Locating
targets requires using a radar with a wide beam. Search
radar has such a beam. Search radar provides
long-range (200 nautical miles or more), 360-degree
coverage. It can determine a targets range, bearing,
and elevation, and can then hand over that information
to the more accurate narrow-beamed FC radar. Some
Fire Control systems have built-in search and track
radar; others rely on completely separate search radar.
In this section, we will cover the separate search radars
you will see in the surface Navy. These are the
AN/SPS-52C and the AN/SPS-48 series search radars.
AN/SPS-52 SEARCH RADAR
The AN/SPS-52C is a ship mounted, air search,
three-dimensional radar system that provides target
position data in range, bearing, and elevation. It
produces three-dimensional coverage from a single
antenna by using electronic scanning in elevation and
mechanical rotation in azimuth. The 52C uses the
AN/SPA-72B antenna as did the earlier AN/SPS-52
systems, but has completely different below-the-decks
Upon completing this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
1. Identify and describe search radar systems associated with fire control radar.
2. Identify and describe missile and gun fire control radar systems.
3. Identify and describe other related sensor systems associated with fire control radar.
4. Describe the detect-to-engage scenario.
5. Describe the fire control problem in relationship to the detect to engage scenario.