Argentina Overhauls Radars

Plans have been announced for the FAA to enhance AN/TPS-43 systems


Argentina will perform a significant modernisation of its ground-based air surveillance capabilities, following the announcement of a planned upgrade of the Fuerza Aérea Argentina (FAA/Argentina Air Force) Westinghouse/Lockheed Martin AN/TPS-43 family S-band (2.3 gigahertz/GHz to 2.5GHz/2.7-3.7GHz) ground-based air surveillance radars.

Local media reports in late December stated that Argentine contractor INVAP will overhaul one of the radars and provide an overarching modernisation of another with new software and digital architecture taking it to the AN/TPS-43M status. There was no word as to when this work will commence and conclude. Open sources state that in during the early 1980s, the FAA purchased six AN/TPS-43 examples, although one was later captured by British forces during the Falklands/Malvinas conflict in 1982, and was reportedly later deployed at the Royal Air Force’s RAF Buchan airbase in northeast Scotland. This radar assisted the provision of ground-based air defence in the UK, and remained in service until 1994. Between 2003 and 2004, according to the author’s sources, the FAA received a further five AN/TPS-43s second-hand from US stocks.

The upgrade of the AN/TPS-43 and the overhaul of the other radar represent an important, if modest, enhancement to the FAA’s GBAD capabilities. Beyond the circa ten AN/TPS-43 radars which the FAA may have in its inventory, the air force is thought to operate two Leonardo RAT-31SL S-band ground-based air surveillance radars which were acquired between 1986 and 1988.

Thomas Withington



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