RMAF Radar Operators Train in The US

SHAH ALAM: RMAF radar operators and technicians train in the US. In June 2020. Malaysian Defence reported that the US was gifting three long range air defense radars to Malaysia and Indonesia. The US$77 million contract is expected to be completed within 48 months once it is awarded. The notice published by the US General Services Administration did not identify the type of radar to be contracted nor the exact numbers for Malaysia and Indonesia.

TPS-77 MMR Multi-Role Radar – Designed for ultra-low power consumption and is the most transportable version of the TPS-77 product line.

Now thanks to the Washington National Guards we now know that 12 airmen from RMAF had trained in the US for preparation for accepting the radar. The piece below is full of details of the training programme.

Royal Malaysia Air Force trains on radar operations at WADS

The Western Air Defense Sector hosts twelve members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force as part of a subject matter exchange entailing hands-on training at a radar site at Camp Rilea, Oregon, Aug. 27, 2021. The 116th Air Control Squadron, Oregon Air National Guard, provided a week long course on the TPS-75 mobile, tactical radar system which is capable of providing radar azimuth, rang, height, and identification of friend or foe information for a 240-nautical-mile area. (Courtesy photo)

By Maj. Kimberly Burke, Western Air Defense Sector

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – The Western Air Defense Sector hosted a Radar Operations Orientation Course for 12 members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s 2nd Air Division, 330th Squadron, Aug. 2-27.

WADS helped U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces plan and execute the training under the National Guard’s State Partnership Program. The Washington National Guard and Malaysia have partnered under the program since 2017, sharing best practices and expertise.

The SPP is a Department of Defense program administered by the National Guard Bureau. It links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces of a partner country to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with U.S. allies worldwide.

“The RMAF Radar Orientation Course is the first major training event supporting the PACAF-sponsored FY21 National Defense Authorization Act Section 333 program providing the RMAF with a Long Range Air Domain Awareness Radar through” U.S. funding assistance, said U.S. Navy Commander David Hurn, the WADS’ SPP coordinator and Navy liaison officer.

The program’s total value is approximately $42 million and includes funding for training on radar fundamentals.

“This course is designed to teach the RMAF those fundamentals and prepare them to receive the radar in mid-to-late” fiscal 2023, Hurn said.

The course was taught by technical experts from the Air Force active-duty and Air National Guard components representing 334th Training Readiness Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; 611th Air Support Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; and 116th Air Control Squadron, Oregon ANG; and WADS.

During the first three weeks, military technical instructors from the 334th TRS taught electronic principles and radar fundamentals in class. The 334th TRS is the USAF schoolhouse where U.S. Airmen are taught radar maintenance.

“The 334th TRS was integral to the success of teaching this course because they have the expertise and courseware of this very specific type of training,” Hurn said.

During the final week, the 116th ACS taught radar maintenance training on the TPS-75 radar at Camp Rilea, Oregon. While the 611th ASUS operates a similar U.S. version of the TPS-77 radar and they were able to instruct members of the RMAF on TPS-77 and TPS-78 maintenance specifics.

On weekends, members of the WADS team showed RMAF members Mount Rainier National Park, the Boeing Museum of Flight and other local sights. Senior WADS leaders also hosted traditional American barbeques at their homes.

AN/TPS-77 long range surveillance radar. Lockheed Martin.

The story however still did not identify the radars to be gifted but from the second last paragraphs one can ascertained that RMAF and also Indonesia, will be getting the export version of the TPS-77 or the TPS-78.
TPS-77 MMR Multi-Role Radar – Designed for ultra-low power consumption and is the most transportable version of the TPS-77 product line.

The TPS-77 MRR is the latest version in Lockheed Martin’s successful product line of surveillance radars and was developed in response to the evolving needs of armed forces on the battlefield.

The TPS-77 MRR is equipped with the latest technology that is quickly adaptable to a variety of surveillance missions. The radar’s multi-role single scan technology allows operators in specific sectors to select roles for the radar such as long range or medium range low-level flight surveillance, including helicopter detection.

As the radar rotates through each 360-degree scan, the system automatically adjusts to the operator selected mission. Changes can be made easily if the system is moved or if the mission is changed. The design also incorporates Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology. GaN provides for ultra-low power consumption and high reliability that ensures radar operation over extended time periods.

It must be noted that the TRS-78 is manufactured by Northrop Grumman.

AN/TPS-78 long range radar. Northrop Grumman.

The AN/TPS-78 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) & ADCAP Multi-Mode radars are the next generation advanced air surveillance radar made possible by advances in high power transistor design.

Supported by Northrop Grumman’s more than 60 years of experience in building high-performance radars, the long-range AN/ TPS-78 ADCAP family of radars are fielded and operationally proven by the U.S. Air Force and customers worldwide.

The AN/TPS-78 ADCAPTM includes an advanced small target UAS and Maritime tracking subsystem with integrated automatic detection and tracking. Its purpose is to detect and track all slow air and maritime moving targets within the system volume of coverage by providing advanced track initiation and continuity algorithms and reduced false track rates.

The AN/TPS-78 ADCAPTM MMR is a long-range (240 nmi / 444km) S-Band 3D radar, with both a 10 second and a 5 second scan rate that is well suited for both Ground Control Intercept Mission requiring faster target update rates as well as long range air surveillance including Tactical Ballistic Missile (TBM) tracking.

Thales Raytheon GM 403 radar in service with RMAF. TUDM

So are we getting both the TRS-77 and the TRS-78 radars? Your guess is as good as mine.


— Malaysian Defence.

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