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What performance is required of air/anti-air radars?

Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2017, 00:05
by michaelemouse
I realize that there can be significant variability between different scenarios, I'm only looking for typical examples and ballparks. The short answer to my question is evidently "It depends". The more informative answer is saying what it depends on and giving typical examples which illustrate those underlying principles. I'm asking about what would be a broadly sufficient minimum to work with rather than what operators would like because the sky is the limit there.

Over-the-horizon radars often have resolution cells of one kilometer or more and only update tracks every 5 to 20 seconds. For early detection and cueing of other sensors, this may be quite sufficient; Catching a glimpse of the enemy's general location is good enough in those circumstances. I'm wondering about more demanding situations.

If two fighters are merely tracking each other, gathering potentially useful data about each other, what kind of precision and data update rate will they want to obtain from their radar? What if they decide to engage each other? What kind of precision and update rate would an AIM-120 AMRAAM that was 100km away from its target strive to get against a modern enemy fighter?

What about different situations like a fighter tracking or engaging a large bomber or a ship? What if it's a SAM engaging a bomber or fighter? An anti-ballistic missile hitting a ballistic missile?

Aside from precision in all 3 axes and data update rate, are there other important parameters which radars would seek to maximize?