Military radar

Types of Radars

Radars were developed for military services, and it has various applications for national defense purposes. Commonly, radars are used to detect missiles, aircraft, artillery, ships, land vehicles, and satellites. Radar can control and guide weapons.
There are three different categories of Military Radar systems.

  • 1. Land-based
  • 2. Ship borne
  • 3. Airborne
Some other prominent categories of radars are described here below.

Land-Based (Air Defense) Radars: These categories of radars cover all mobile, fixed, and portable 2-D systems and 3-D systems etc used in the air defense military mission.
Missile Control & Ground Surveillance Radars: These type having the ability to fire-control, tracking, and weapons-locating technology whether the object is mobile, fixed, man-portable or transportable.
Naval & Coastal Surveillance Navigation Radars (Ship-Borne): These have ship-borne surface search and air search radars. Also having the ability for land-based coastal surveillance radars.
Naval Fire-Control Radars: are ship borne radars and that are part of weapons guidance and radar-based fire-control systems.
Airborne Surveillance Radars: Designed for maritime surveillance, early warning, and land. Also for helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, or remotely piloted vehicles.
Airborne Fire-Control Radars: These are for weapons aiming & weapons fire-control.


Simple Pulse Radar: It is the most typical radar with a waveform consisting of repetitive short-duration pulses. For example; long-range air and maritime surveillance radars, test range radars, and weather radars etc. There are two type of Pulse radars.

  • 1) Moving-Target Indication (MTI) Radar
  • 2) Pulse Doppler Radar

Pulse radar applications in various fields such as; Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, Department of Commerce (DOC), FAA, USCG, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Treasury and Department of the Interior (DOI).

1) Moving-Target Indication (MTI) Radar: MTI radar can identify echoes of a moving target from non moving objects and clutter, then reject the clutter.
Applications of MTI Radars: Army, Navy, Air Force, FAA, USCG, NASA, and Department of Commerce (DOC).
Airborne Moving-Target Indication (AMTI) Radar: It detects moving targets even though the radar unit is in motion. AMTI radars are used in Army, Navy, Air Force, and the USCG.
2) Pulse Doppler Radar: It is a type of pulse radar that uses Doppler frequency shift of the echo signal to reject clutter and also detect moving aircraft etc.
Applications of Pulse Doppler Radars: Army, Navy, Air Force, FAA, USCG, NASA, and DOC.
3) High-Range Resolution Radar: It’s the pulse-type radar, uses very short pulses to catch the range resolution of a target. Is used to detect a stationary target or fixed in the clutter.
Applications: Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and DOE are users of high-range resolution radars.
4) Pulse-Compression Radar: Similar to high-range resolution radar. But it overcomes peak power and long-range limitations using the resolution of a short pulse with the energy of a long pulse. The frequency or phase modulation allows the long pulse to be compressed in the receiver by an amount equal to the reciprocal of the signal bandwidth.
Applications:Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and DOE are users of pulse-compression radars.
5) Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR): Airborne radar having a large side-looking antenna. Also is capable of high-range resolution. SLAR generates map-like images of ground and also it permits detection of ground targets.
Applications: Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and the USCG. 6) Imaging Radar:Imaging radar used for the creation of two dimentional image of a landscape using the aid like a digital computer
Applications: Army, Navy, Air Force, and NASA are the primary users of imaging radars.
7) Tracking Radar: Continuously follows a single target in angle and range to determine its path to predict its future position. Typical tracking radar measures the target location at a rate of 10 times per second. Range instrumentation radars are typical tracking radars. These radars are sometimes referred to as fire-control radars.
Applications: Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and DOE.
8) Scattero-meter: This radar is used in aircraft or satellites. Generally its antenna beam is oriented at various aspects to the sides of its track vertically beneath it. It uses the measurement of the return echo power variation with aspect angle to determine the wind direction and speed of the Earth’s ocean surfaces.
9) Precipitation Radar: Used on aircraft or satellites. Generally its antenna beam is scanning at an angle optimum to its flight path to measure radar returns from rainfall to determine rainfall rate.
10) Cloud Profile Radar: Used on aboard an aircraft or satellite. The radar beam is oriented at nadir measuring the radar returns from clouds to determine the cloud reflectivity profile over the Earth’s surface.

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