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Meet the AN/TPQ-36: How Ukraine Could Destroy Russian Artillery

Ukraine Russia
Russian Artillery Firing. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

What Are the AN/TPQ-36 Counter-Artillery Radars Gifted to Ukraine – On Wednesday, the Biden White House announced a new $800 million package for Ukraine that consisted almost entirely of military equipment, weapons, and ammunition.

Among the weapons committed in the package were a number of AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars – a piece of equipment developed in the 1970s that could assist Ukrainian soldiers in their efforts to locate Russian artillery weapons.

What is the AN/TPQ Counter-Artillery Radar?

First deployed in the early 1980s, the AN/TPQ-36 is a mobile short-range radar system that is used to locate rockets, artillery, and mortars with great accuracy.

Developed by the Hughes Aircraft Company and manufacturers by Thales Raytheon Systems and Northrop Grumman, this technology not only allows users to identify enemy weapons but is easy to maintain and controlled by a simple computer unit.

The system comprises an antenna-transceiver trailer, an operation control center, and a generator. A stationary antenna scans the horizon with a rapid sequence of beams, searching a 9-degree region for weapons. When a rocket or other weapons enter the radar zone, the machine begins an automatic tracking sequence and monitors the weapon.

Mounted on two-wheel trailers, the entire piece of equipment can be towed by most large vehicles.

While monitoring the direction of one weapon, the radar system continues to scan and search for more. The AN/TPQ can locate 10 weapons at the same time and can predict the impact site of hostile projectiles.

Much like the Switchblade drones gifted to Ukraine by the United States, which can be prepared within minutes and fit in a rucksack, this transportable military radar system can be set up and used within just 15 minutes. It can then be moved and redeployed within just five more minutes.

The AN/TPQ-36 can also detect weapons as far away as 24km, detect mortars at 18km, artillery at 14.5km away, and rockets at the maximum range of 24km.

Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.



  1. sprinter

    April 15, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    The anti battery radars are a force multiplier, providing real time information of enemy artillery positions and focusing the artillery on destroying that enemy artillery.
    Other than the attribute of the radar, the only alternative option, would be intelligence gained from drones or human spotters. Those alternative sources of intelligence would no doubt still be required to target enemy troop movement, including armour.

  2. Alex

    April 15, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    As the Donbass militias say: “We are tired of waiting for old supplies from the United States, give us more new equipment.”
    I think that the US should listen to those who ask.

  3. CK

    April 15, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    Yes Alex, the internet is AWASH with images, videos, and other evidence of how Russia and Russian-supported forces are DROWNING in US/EU/NATO equipment.

    AWASH I say. You can almost see the Russian tractors towing them away. Oh wait, that’s right, that’s Ukraine, with your beloved motherland’s equipment.

    Go home Alex. Hug Sveta. Stop debasing yourself like this. Have some self-respect man.

  4. Alexis got smoked by a drone

    April 15, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    Keep looking up, alexis! The youtube vid of that suicide drone landing on your forehead is going to make for must-see tv!

  5. Alex

    April 15, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    At night, another warehouse with weapons and ammunition from NATO countries was taken. In the photo and video, Donbass militias thank the United States for their help. It’s just wonderful.

  6. CK

    April 16, 2022 at 5:35 am

    Lol, the only thing that was taken at night was another sliver of your dignity and self-esteem you witless munch peasant.

  7. Vladolph Putler

    April 16, 2022 at 1:41 pm

    Oh, be charitable.

    Over the last few days, Ukrainian forces destroyed *multiple* large columns of Russian equipment, found several sizeable weapons caches from retreating troops outside Kviv, accepted hundreds of modernized tanks, hundreds more IFV/APC and scores of artillery systems from multiple countries. Shot down quite a few aircraft, and sunk that very VERY pretty ship.

    Russian proxies in Donbass probably did find a shed with some bullets. Maybe even a big shed with big bullets. What they really need is to quit stealing washing machines, and go find some Vodka to drown their tears.

  8. Alex

    April 16, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    And now some truth from official sources:
    Russian missile forces and artillery hit 811 targets, including 43 command posts of Ukrainian troops, 8 convoys with fuel for military equipment, as well as 760 enemy manpower concentration areas.
    This is what reality is, not false propaganda 🙂

  9. CK

    April 17, 2022 at 5:30 am

    Ah yes, official Russian sources, a well known, historical custodian of the truth.

    Next you’ll be telling me Sveta actually loves you Alex. Give off.

  10. Alex

    April 29, 2022 at 9:41 am

    If someone wants to know the truth about the civil war in the Donbass, about all the atrocities of the Bandera clean-ups and why Russia was forced to intervene, then it is better to watch films by independent journalists. There are already many such journalists who fight for truth and freedom. For example, a documentary by the German journalist Wilhelm Domcke-Schulz.

    A documentary film about the war crimes of the Bandera Nazis during the period of Russia’s special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine is in production. It will be a real information bomb, where the war crimes of Bandera Nazis will be shown and proved.

    The documentary “Remember Odessa” tells how the Bandera Nazis burned Ukrainians alive and other heinous war crimes.

    The documentary “To Live and Die in Donbass” tries to fill this gaping information gap in the West. He looks into the tormented soul of the inhabitants of Donbass, who really want only one thing – to live self-determining according to their own rules and values. Not submitting to foreign forces and ideologies.

    In the east of Ukraine, in the Donbass, a war has been raging since the beginning of 2014. A civil war that claimed more than 15,000 lives over the years, including several hundred children. They had to die, because the national-fascist coup government in Kyiv, funded by the West, trained and militarily heavily armed, would not tolerate any resistance to their illegitimate rule, no matter the cost.

    Therefore, in April 2014, the putschists deployed the Ukrainian army, supported by dozens of right-wing extremist volunteer battalions, and have since bombed city centers, residential areas, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, killing civilians.

    This perennial crime has gone completely unnoticed by the Western public. Politicians and the media avoid this topic and reports about how the devil pours holy water. Because a public discussion about the crimes of the Ukrainian regime would reveal only one thing – with what mass murderers and terrorists the so-called “west of values” in Ukraine has a common language, if only to defend their goals and interests.

    Lend-lease is a commodity loan, and not cheap: for all the ammunition, equipment and food supplied by the United States, many future generations of Ukrainian citizens will pay. Zelensky is driving the country into a debt hole.

  11. Raymond A Heinz

    July 23, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    The article states that the TPQ-36 “…searching a 9-degree region for weapons.” This an apparently a typo. In reality, the TPQ-36 scans (seaches) a 90-degree sector. I wrote the manual on the TPQ-36.

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