The Iraqi Minister of Defense, Juma Inad, announced on Sunday that French SAMP/T Mamba air defense systems and American TPS 77 radars for long-range detection will arrive soon in Iraq to control the country’s airspace. During a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the new Iraqi Air Defense Command Operations Center, revealed that the new operations center will be one of the Iraqi army’s edifices that provides great services to the Air Defense operations command. The Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported that the new operations center will be linked to the new radar system, which was agreed upon with the French company Thales. This system will detect hostile air targets and will be deployed in different sites in the country.
The SAMP/T also called MAMBA in the French army is a theatre antimissile system designed to protect the battlefield and sensitive tactical sites against all current and future airborne threats, including cruise missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft and tactical ballistic missiles in the 600 km range class. The SAMP/T MAMBA launcher vehicle is fitted with eight ready-to-fire missile containers mounted at the rear side of an 8×8 truck chassis. The SAMP/T system comprises a fire control unit based on the ARABEL multi-function electronic scanning radar, Vertical Ground Launcher truck unit, engagement module including Mara computer and Magics operator consoles mounted on Kerax truck, a power generator module mounted on Kerax truck, maintenance and repair Kerax truck and missile reloader vehicle.
Its key components is the Aster 30 interceptor. The name “Aster” stands for “Aérospatiale Terminale” (French company Aérospatiale having been the project’s lead contractor before being merged into MBDA). The ASTER 30 is a two-stage missile, a concept which leads to maximum effectiveness of the interceptor stage. The solid propellant booster ensures the optimum shaping of the missile’s trajectory in the direction of the target and separates a few seconds after the vertical launch. Up to its mid-course, the weapon is inertially guided, using refreshed target data transmitted by the engagement module through the multi-function radar. During the homing phase, guidance is achieved by an electromagnetic active seeker providing a highly accurate capability in all weathers.
AN/TPS-77 (formerly known as the AN/TPS-117) is an L-Band, 3-D, tactical transportable long-range air surveillance radar. It features 80 percent commonality with the FPS-117. The AN/TPS-77 uses an active electronically scanned array (AESA), to generate a number of pencil beams. The system offers instrumented detection at ranges on the order of 200 to 250 nautical miles (370 to 460 km; 230 to 290 mi) and has a wide variety of interference and clutter rejection systems. A further version of the series was introduced as the TPS-117, soon renamed TPS-77. This is a further cut-down of the original design, producing a smaller antenna. Combined with modern electronics, the system is now transportable by a single custom prime mover vehicle. This system has replaced most other radars in the UK’s network.