Ground Warfare

South Korean Arms Agency Completes Deployment of TPQ-74K Counter-battery Radar

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South Korean Arms Agency Completes Deployment of TPQ-74K Counter-battery Radar

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South Korean Arms Agency Completes Deployment of TPQ-74K Counter-battery Radar
South Korean Arms Agency Completes Deployment of TPQ-74K Counter-battery Radar

The South Korean Arms Procurement Agency has completed deploying TPQ-74K counter-battery radar in military units across the nation in a move to better detect North Korean artillery threats. On September 3rd 2018, Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced that it signed a contract with LIG Nex1 to begin full-production and fielding of indigenous TPQ-74K Counter-Battery Radar-II. The contract is said to have worth 181 billion won (approximately $162.8 million) and production will last until 2022. LIG Nex1 began development of indigenous counter-battery radar in 2011 with backing from the government and the system passed combat trials in April 2017. The TPQ-74K began deployment after a seven-year development period to prepare against possible North Korean artillery provocations targeting front-line islands in the Yellow Sea and the greater Seoul area.

TPQ-74K Counter-Battery Radar-II
TPQ-74K Counter-Battery Radar-II. (Photo by LIG Nex1)

The Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said the transportable radar has been fully deployed at Army Corps units across the country and for the Marine Corps stationed in the border islands to serve as a key asset in artillery combat. It is the country’s first counter-battery radar to be equipped with active electronically scanned array technology, making it difficult for the enemy to locate. North Korea, which has one of the world’s largest artillery forces, has many long-range artillery pieces stationed within striking distance of the wider capital area home to nearly half of South Korea’s 51 million people. In 2010, the North bombarded the border island of Yeonpyeong in the Yellow Sea, killing four South Koreans. The DAPA also expressed expectations of the radar’s competitiveness in the global defense market if it is exported alongside South Korea’s homegrown K9 self-propelled howitzers.

 TPQ-74K Counter-Battery Radar-II. (Photo by LIG Nex1)
TPQ-74K Counter-Battery Radar-II. (Photo by LIG Nex1)

TPQ-74K is able to detect incoming hostile artillery fire, locate their origins, and relay relevant information to friendly forces. It plays a crucial role in defending South Korea against potential North Korean artillery threats. The new TPQ-74K has 30-40% greater detection radius and continuous operating time than the existing Swedish ARTHUR-K radar systems. Arthur-K has effective dtection range of 40km, while the new system has range of over 60km. It can also operate continously for eight hours,compared to Arthur-K’s 6 hours. Merely two radars will allow undisturbed operation for 365 days. LIG Nex1 claims that its radar’s excellent performance and high cost-effectiveness have already opened the door for export, especially to the Middle East region. The new radar’s 95% localization rate also means that repair and maintenance will be cheaper and easier than before.

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