TPQ-53(E) Technology Assessment, week 7


The AN/TPQ-53 (Enhanced) radar system is a counter fire radar that detects; locates the enemy; and disseminates operational/intelligence information through Augmented Reality to command, control, computers, and intelligence (C4I) and military ground/air forces. This encompassing system replaces the outdated AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 target acquisition/counter fire radars.

The TPQ-53(E) is mounted on a 5-ton FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles) and includes an operational/intelligence support team with 2 FMTV transporters with a power generator, communications and control shelter, and the Target Acquisition Team (TAT). The TPQ-53(E) can be quickly deployed and utilizes AR for integration into the tactical battle space with C4I communication capabilities across the area of operation (AO).

The TAT consists of a forward observer (artillery), all source intelligence soldier, air force target support (air man), and an infantry soldier.  The TAT will use a remote laptop, AR equipment, and TPQ-53(E) software to interface with C4I and unit communications systems once the radar has acquired a target.

The TPQ-53(E) offers an enhanced AR capability to engage opposing forces in lethal or non-lethal activity.  The TPQ-53(E) is a Joint Electronic Type Designation System (JETD) with the capability of use by the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Forces from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  Germany also has this system with communication capabilities, but the system does not include the AR capability.  The TPQ-53(E) has the capability to provide a full-spectrum battle space not only to US forces but also provides military continuity with our closest allies.


The TPQ-53(E) prototype will be fielded and tested in an exercise that includes all stakeholders.  The stakeholders will represent all groups associated with the TPQ-53(E) who will provide an after action report (AAR) that will include three improvements, three maintain, and three negative impressions of the TPQ-53(E).  The groups will chose a representative to participate on a technology and fielding review board (TFRB).

The TFRB will review all AARs and make recommendations the Department of the Army (DA) and Department of Defense (DoD).  The Research and Development (RD) of DA and DoD will consider the recommendations and make a determination for approval and disapproval.  The approved changes to the TPQ-53(E) will be sent back to the TFRB for review.  RD will review the submissions from the TFRB for final action.  Once RD has taken final action the changes will be sent to the contractor for implementation.

Evaluate and Recommend

The final version of the TPQ-53(E) will be fielded to artillery units for interface with C4I and ground/air forces.  Military personnel will receive training function and operation capabilities of the counter fire/target acquisition radar.

The fielded units will provide feedback for future recommendations and immediate improvements for the TPQ-53(E).  These recommendations will go through the analytical process and provided to the contractor.


The TPQ-53(E) provides a comprehensive target acquisition system with an immediate response from the Commander.  Decisions requiring a determination of lethal versus non-lethal will be communicated to the appropriate unit for execution.  The commander’s actions will reduce battlefield stress, reduce loss of life both civilian and military, and all units will maintain a comprehensive operating picture.

The TPQ-53(E) use by close allied forces provides C4I to joint force commands for execution.   The joint force capability provides international sharing of information and develops a stronger power base for future operations but peacekeeping and at war.

In past wars, the armed forces from various countries have received negative press and this has created conflict with the country (ies) of occupation.  A pin point capability that is shared by the primary nations involved in the conflict will reduce the margin of error and negative press.  A reduction in civilian casualties both lethal and non-lethal provides a better relationship with the developing country (ies).

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