Category Archives: Defense, Including Radar, Missiles and EW

This blog posts news about the Defense industry, including links to industry news and articles, and announcements of continuing education for professionals who are working in the radar, missiles and EW profession.

Protecting the Soldier: U.S. Army Orders More Q-53 Counterfire Radars from Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin will manufacture additional AN/TPQ-53 counterfire radar systems for the U.S. Army under a $1.6 billion order-dependent contract. The Q-53 radar system supports troops in combat by detecting, classifying, tracking and identifying the location of enemy indirect fire in either 360- or 90-degree modes.

Lockheed Martin completed the 100th Q-53 radar system for the Army in January and is manufacturing multiple Q-53 radar systems per month. Since Lockheed Martin won the development contract for the Q-53 radar in 2007, the company has won five additional contracts for a total of more than 100 radar systems, 95 systems have been delivered to the Army. With this full-rate production contract award, the Army’s complement of Q-53 radar systems will total more than 170.

“The Q-53 system helps troops know what is going on around them in an increasingly complicated world,” said Rick Herodes, director of Lockheed Martin’s Q-53 radar program. “What’s so special about the Q-53 radar system is the inherent flexibility of its software controlled active electronically scanned array (AESA). Our engineers can adjust the Q-53’s software to address emerging threats. Having control in the software allows quick reaction to whatever comes next – so the first Q-53 radar system off the line could be quickly updated to be just as capable as the 170th Q-53 radar system.”

Lockheed Martin is the only company producing active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars for the Army.

Over the last 10 years new threats have emerged including unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Thanks to the flexibility of open architecture designs, simple software modifications can be made to adjust radar systems, including the Q-53 radar, to meet various missions. The U.S. Army awarded Lockheed Martin a $28 million contract in November for “quick reaction capability to add counter-unmanned aerial system to the AN/TPQ-53 radar system” simultaneous with its core counterfire mission.

The Q-53 radar can be readily adapted to provide both air surveillance and counterfire target acquisition in one tactical sensor. The radar system demonstrated its multimission radar (MMR) capability by identifying and tracking aerial systems and passing that information to a command and control node, a key capability as the battlespace rapidly becomes more crowded with emerging air threats.

The Q-53 supports counter-insurgency missions as well as high-intensity combat operations. The system is highly mobile on the battlefield; it can be set up in five minutes, taken down in two minutes and supports two-man operation.

Work on the Q-53 radars is performed at Lockheed Martin facilities in Syracuse and Owego, New York, Moorestown, New Jersey, and Clearwater, Florida.

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Rating 3.00 out of 5

​Report to Congress on Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies



Introduction 5

Iran’s Policy Motivators   5

Threat Perception  5

Ideology  6

National Interests  6

Factional Interests and Competition   7

Instruments of Iran’s National Security Strategy  8

Financial and Military Support to Allied Regimes and Groups  8

Other Political Action  11

Diplomacy  11

Iran’s Nuclear and Defense Programs  12

Nuclear Program  12

Iran’s Nuclear Intentions and Activities  12

International Diplomatic Efforts to Address Iran’s Nuclear Program 14

Developments during the Obama Administration  15

Missile Programs and Chemical and Biological Weapons Capability 17

Chemical and Biological Weapons 17

Missiles 18

Conventional and “Asymmetric Warfare” Capability 21

Military-Military Relationships and Potential New Arms Buys  21

Asymmetric Warfare Capacity  22

Iran’s Regional and International Activities  25

Near East Region 25

The Persian Gulf 25

Iranian Policy on Iraq, Syria, and the Islamic State  36

Iraq  36

Syria  38

Iran’s Policy toward Israel: Supporting Hamas and Hezbollah 39

Hamas 40

Hezbollah  41


Turkey 43

Egypt 44

South and Central Asia 44

The South Caucasus: Azerbaijan and Armenia 44

Central Asia  45

Turkmenistan 46

Tajikistan 46

Kazakhstan  47

Uzbekistan  47

South Asia 48

Afghanistan 48

Pakistan  49

India  50

Sri Lanka 51

Russia 51

Europe  52

East Asia 53

China  53

Japan and South Korea  54

North Korea 54

Latin America 55

Venezuela 56

Argentina 56

Africa 57

Sudan 58

Prospects and Alternative Scenarios 59



Figure 1. Map of Near East …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25

Figure 2. Major Persian Gulf Military Facilities ………………………………………………………………… 34

Figure 3. South and Central Asia Region ………………………………………………………………………….. 44

Figure 4. Latin America ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 55

Figure 5. Sudan ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 57


Table 1. Major Iran or Iran-Related Terrorism Attacks or Plots ……………………………………………. 10

Table 2. Iran’s Missile Arsenal ………………………………………………………………………………………… 20

Table 3. Iran’s Conventional Military Arsenal …………………………………………………………………… 23

Table 4. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) …………………………………………………… 24

Table 5. Military Assets of the Gulf Cooperation Council Member States …………………………….. 35



Author Contact Information ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 61


Iran’s national security policy is the product of many, and sometimes competing, factors: the ideology of Iran’s Islamic revolution; Iranian leadership’s perception of threats to the regime and to the country; long-standing Iranian national interests; and the interaction of the Iranian regime’s various factions and constituencies. Some experts assert that the goal of Iran’s national security strategy is to overturn a power structure in the Middle East that Iran asserts favors the United States and its allies Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Sunni Muslim Arab regimes. Iran characterizes its support for Shiite and other Islamist movements as support for the “oppressed” and asserts that Saudi Arabia, in particular, is instigating sectarian tensions and trying to exclude Iran from regional affairs. Others interpret Iran as primarily attempting to protect itself from U.S. or other efforts to invade or intimidate it or to change its regime. Its strategy might, alternatively or additionally, represent an attempt to enhance Iran’s international prestige or restore a sense of “greatness” reminiscent of the ancient Persian empires. From 2010 until 2016, Iran’s foreign policy also focused on attempting to mitigate the effects of international sanctions on Iran.

Iran employs a number of different tools in pursuing its national security policy. Some Iranian policy tools are common to most countries: traditional diplomacy and the public promotion of Iran’s values and interests. Iran also has financially supported regional politicians and leaders. Of most concern to U.S. policymakers is that Iran provides direct material support to armed groups, some of which use terrorism to intimidate or retaliate against Israel or other regional opponents of Iran. Iran’s armed support to Shiite-dominated allied governments, such as those of Syria and Iraq, also has fueled Sunni popular resentment.

Iran’s national security policy focuses most intently on the Near East region, including on U.S. operations, allies, and activities in that region. It is that region where all the various components of Iran’s foreign policy interact. Iran’s policy also seems to be directed at influencing the policies and actions of big powers, such as those in Europe as well as Russia, that are active in the Near East—either as partners or antagonists of U.S. interests in that region.

Some experts forecast that Iran’s foreign and defense policies would shift after international sanctions were eased in January 2016 in accordance with the July 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA). Additional financial resources enable Iran to expand its regional influence further. Others assessed that the nuclear agreement would cause Iran to moderate its regional behavior in order not to jeopardize the agreement and its benefits. During 2016, Obama Administration officials and U.S. reports asserted that there was little, if any, alteration of Iran’s national security policies. On February 1, 2017, the Trump Administration cited Iran’s continued “malign activities” and repeated ballistic missile tests, and asserted that Iran “is now feeling emboldened” and that the Administration was “officially putting Iran on notice.” The Administration subsequently sanctioned additional Iran missile entities under existing authorities and maintained that a “deliberative process” was underway that could result in further actions not contravening the JCPOA. Recent U.S. statements and press reports indicate the Administration might be considering military efforts to set back Iranian influence in Yemen, and perhaps elsewhere.

Iran has used the JCPOA to ease its international diplomatic isolation and to try to develop itself as a regional energy and trade hub and to explore new weapons buys. Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i and key hardline institutions, such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), oppose any compromises of Iran’s core goals, but support Iran’s reintegrate into regional and international diplomacy.

View full report here.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

First SPY-6(V) Radar BMD Test

An Arleigh Burke class destroyer
An Arleigh Burke class destroyer

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Radar, Missiles & Defense.  The news below would be of interest to our readers.

The U.S. Navy successfully conducted a flight test March 15 with the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) off the west coast of Hawaii, Naval Sea Systems Command announced in a March 30 release.

During a flight test designated Vigilant Hunter, the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR searched for, detected and maintained track on a short-range ballistic missile target launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai. This is the first in a series of ballistic missile defense flight tests planned for the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR.

Read more here.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Free EMI Workshop- Prevent EMI Problems

Free Troubleshooting EMI workshop.
Identify, Characterize, and Prevent Electromagnetic Interference Problems

Hosted by Rohde & Schwarz

Join this highly focused free one-day seminar and learn how to uncover, characterize, and solve the most elusive EMI problems. Troubleshooting and localizing intermittent signals or multiple layers of broadband and narrowband signals can be frustrating even for the most seasoned EMC troubleshooter and RF engineer. We will discuss and demonstrate a number of test setups that can help the root causes of EMC test failures and then demonstrate how real-time analysis can literally make previously-hidden signals leap into plain view.
This seminar is intended for engineers and technicians involved in the development, troubleshooting, pre-compliance testing and certification of electronic products, systems and assemblies for EMC.

More information here.


Lee Hill is an industry expert in electromagnetic compatibility and founding partner of SILENT Solutions LLC, an EMC and RF design firm established in 1992. Lee provides EMC troubleshooting services, design reviews, and training to a wide variety of industries nationally and around the world. He earned his MSEE in electromagnetics from the Missouri University of Science and Technology EMC Laboratory.

Contact this instructor

Available Dates:

Select the date/location that best fits your
schedule to register now!

Tuesday, April 4 – New York, NY
Thursday, April 6 – Columbia, MD
Tuesday, April 18 – San Diego, CA
Thursday, April 20 – Milpitas, CA
Monday, May 22, – Dallas, TX

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Celebrating Veteran’s Day November 11, 2016 !

PHOENIX, Md. (June 22, 2015) Rear Admiral Dale E. Horan, deputy director for Operations, Joint Staff, pins the Purple Heart medal to former U.S. Army Corporal Charles B. Elder for wounds he received in action while a prisoner of war from August 1951 to August 1953 during the Korean War.  Elder was captured while serving with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.  He was taken into captivity by North Korean Forces on August 6, 1951 and held until 1953. Rear Adm. Horan was approached by Cpl. Elder's family about the missing Purple Heart Medal when he made a Veteran's Day Speech at the Jacksonville Senior Center in 2014. An Army review of Cpl. Elder's records verified his eligibility for the medal. (U.S. Navy photo by Commander Daryl Borgquist/Released)
PHOENIX, Md. (June 22, 2015) Rear Admiral Dale E. Horan, deputy director for Operations, Joint Staff, pins the Purple Heart medal to former U.S. Army Corporal Charles B. Elder for wounds he received in action while a prisoner of war from August 1951 to August 1953 during the Korean War. Elder was captured while serving with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was taken into captivity by North Korean Forces on August 6, 1951 and held until 1953. Rear Adm. Horan was approached by Cpl. Elder’s family about the missing Purple Heart Medal when he made a Veteran’s Day Speech at the Jacksonville Senior Center in 2014. An Army review of Cpl. Elder’s records verified his eligibility for the medal. (U.S. Navy photo by Commander Daryl Borgquist/Released) created this video to understanding why Veterans Day matters. Also see some of the additional links.

November 11 – let us celebrate our veterans and current service members.

Let us also celebrate my personal November 10 birthday for fun.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Navy Vietnam Video – Wings Over Vietnam

I am a strong supporter of the US Navy. I enjoy Navy videos. I have two son-in-laws serving. Serval of ATI’s instructors are retired Navy. This 54 minute video provides an in-depth history of airpower during the Vietnam War.
James Bond “Jim” Stockdale (December 23, 1923 – July 5, 2005) was a United States Navy vice admiral. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War, during which he was a prisoner of war for over seven years.
Stockdale was the highest-ranking naval officer held as a prisoner in North Vietnam. He had led aerial attacks from the carrier USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident. On his next deployment, while Commander of Carrier Air Wing 16 aboard the carrier USS Oriskany (CV-34), he was shot down in North Vietnam on September 9, 1965.
During the late 1970s, he served as President of the Naval War College. Stockdale was a candidate for Vice President of the United States in the 1992 presidential election, on Ross Perot’s independent ticket.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and the Air Force conducted a joint air defense exercise in the Arabian Gulf

The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) provides technical training in Radar and Missile Defense. We have been following and posting public information about the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group as a service to our students. We also have family deployed with the Eisenhower Carrier Group. See this link for ATI Defense courses.

ARABIAN GULF (AFNS) — The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG) and the Air Force conducted a joint air defense exercise (ADEX) in the Arabian Gulf Oct. 25.


Navy Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group Operations
An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike). Ike and its carrier strike group are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations

The objective of the ADEX was to improve integration of Navy and Air Force defense efforts while protecting aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) from simulated aerial threats.

The training was designed to simulate real-world scenarios the ship may encounter at sea.

The exercise consisted of multiple platforms from both branches, including guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Monterey (CG 61), guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70), and the squadrons of embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 aboard Ike.

“The exercise was a big accomplishment,” said Lt. Anand Jantzen, the San Jacinto’s fire control officer and liaison officer aboard Ike. “Not only was the strike group still conducting our primary mission supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, but we also directed a joint exercise simultaneously.”

The Air Force provided two big-wing tankers and two F-22 Raptors from the 525th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to support 13 aircraft from the Ike CSG. During the exercise, both forces were utilized and divided into “red air” hostile threats and “blue air,” the strike group’s air defense force.

The air support provided by the red and blue air allowed a simulation of actual engagements and an opportunity to train in scenarios, which created a challenging environment. The aircrews were able to work on their proficiency and meet different mission objectives.

“We were able to exercise the full Ike CSG capability and integrate that with the Air Force,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tommy Kolwicz, the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86’s operations officer. “We had full integration from the fighters in the air to the tactical actions officers and watchstanders on the surface ships.”

Red air’s objective was to overwhelm the CSG’s air defenses with simulated air-to-surface missiles. Aircraft flew missile profiles towards the surface ships so they could practice going through pre-planned responses and simulate shooting down anti-surface missiles.

The cruisers were tested in their ability to protect Ike, which acted as a high-value unit (HVU), and demonstrated their ability to conduct air defense.

“The main goal for the cruisers is to protect the HVU from air threats, and fill in as the alternate air intercept controllers in case the E-2C Hawkeye is unable to do so,” Jantzen said.

Kolwicz further explained across the CSG and between both branches, there was an emphasis on gathering perspective from areas outside of normal operations. As a pilot, he was able to provide a personal view of his role to the watchstanders on the ship and learn from subject matter experts. Overall, the Navy and Air Force were able to gain hands-on understanding of each other’s tactics and capabilities.

“The biggest focus was on integration,” Jantzen said. “In a real-world scenario the Air Force has aircraft that we can request to support our mission, just like we support theirs. Joint missions are the cornerstone of the United States military, and our ability to work with the other services towards a common mission makes us stronger. I’m extremely confident in the ability of all the personnel involved. It allowed everyone to see different aspects of the normal routine.”

Rating 3.00 out of 5

U.S. Naval Academy Videos

ATI is proud that several of our instructors and friends are U.S. Naval Academy graduates or instructors.

The U.S. Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis on Oct. 10, 1845. This video highlights the Naval Academy and Its traditions.

With over 80,000 graduates, the US Naval Academy has created a legacy for many to follow, including a former President of the United States, Super Bowl MVP, Heisman Trophy winners, Olympic gold medalists, CEOs, astronauts, entrepreneurs, Rhodes scholars, Medal of Honor winners, noted scholars, and fellow alumni who have achieved greatness in every field they entered.

Rating 3.00 out of 5


Elon Musk in SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, seems to become enamored by a new grandiose idea every week or so. And this week was no exception. This time he and his well-heeled colleagues are trying to find a way to serve the 3 billion earthlings hunkering down at scattered locations around the globe lacking service by modern cellphones or conventional telephones.

The solution? Launch a giant swarm of broadband communication satellites into low-altitude circular orbits flying in a tight formation with one another as they circle around the globe. It is called OneWeb.

300-pound satellites are to be launched into 18 orbit planes with 40 satellites following one another in single file around each plane. Ku-band transmitters will provide satellite-based cellphone services to remote and underserved users everywhere in the world. Mass production techniques and the economies of scale should help keep the cost of each individual satellite in the $500,000 range. Recently the OneWeb satellites passed their preliminary design review at the famous satellite design center in Toulouse, France. OneWeb’s total network cost, including a widely dispersed network of gateway Earth stations, is expected to come in at about $3.5 billion, provided the cost-conscious satellite-makers in Exploration Park, Florida, can come in within their target budget. Company spokesmen ha ve indicated that, so far, their team members are on schedule and within 5% of their estimated costs.

About 15-percent of the $3.5 billion has been raised and has been funding about 300 full-time experts. Present schedules call for initial money-raising services to being in 2019. Some industry experts have been calling the concept the O3b “other three billion”, for the three billion widely distributed individuals unserved by mobile or hard-wired telephones.

Elon Musk is famous for turning wild ideas into practical reality and squeezed out impressive profits along the way. Many of his ideas have been floating around for some time when he decides to take a shot at turning them into reality. An earlier version of OneWeb was touted by Edward Tucks in the 1970’s. It was called Teledesic.

The Teledesic concept sprang to life because Tucks read that “40 million people (were) on the waiting list for telephone services around the world.” He quietly sketched up the plans for an 840-satellite constellation of communication satellites flitting through space in 435-mile orbits.

Launch costs were a big barrier then. But Elon Musk can now put a big dent in that problem with his surprisingly inexpensive Falcon boosters.

Tom Logsdon, the author of this blog teaches short courses for the Applied Technology Institute in Riva, Maryland. He will be discussing, in detail, the rapidly evolving OneWeb plans as they are springing from the drawing boards in the following short courses:

The author of this article, Tom Logsdon, teaches short courses, on a regular basis, for the Applied Technology Institute in Riva, Maryland. Here is his upcoming schedule of courses:

GPS and International Competitors Dec 5-8, 2016 Colorado Springs, CO
GPS and International Competitors Apr 17-20, 2017 Columbia,MD
Orbital & Launch Mechanics – Fundamentals Jan 23-26, 2017 Albuquerque, NM
Orbital & Launch Mechanics – Fundamentals Feb 28-Mar 3, 2017 Columbia, MD

Click here for further information: ATIcourses, Tom Logsdon

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Third Attack on USS Mason Fired on Again Off Coast of Yemen Oct 15, 2016

CNO Richardson: USS Mason ‘Appears to Have Come Under Attack’
Sam LaGrone – USNI – October 15, 2016
A US Strike Group transiting international waters in the Red Sea detected possible inbound missile threats and deployed appropriate defensive measures,” a US defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Post event assessment is ongoing. All US warships and vessels in the area are safe.”

The USS Mason destroyer, which was sailing in international waters off Yemen’s coast earlier this week, used unspecified countermeasures against the incoming missiles, a military official said.

USS Mason Defends Itself for the Third Time
USS Mason Defends Itself for the Third Time

If confirmed, the attempted missile strikes would be the most serious escalation yet of the US involvement in a deadly civil war that has killed more than 6,800 people, wounded more than 35,000 and displaced at least three million since a Saudi-led coalition launched military operations last year.
Officials have stressed that Washington wants to avoid getting embroiled in yet another war in an already volatile region.
On Thursday, the US Navy launched five Tomahawk cruise missiles at three mobile radar sites in Huthi-controlled territory on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, after the Iran-backed rebels blasted rockets at the USS Mason twice in four days.

See the earlier blog post.…tack-oct-11-2016/

The social media of retired naval officers is filled with angry comments. They want to see a strong military response that immediately attacks the shooters and deters future hostile action. They cannot believe that the US military doesn’t know a lot more and has not responded more vigorously to-date. They say:

  1. What you say when you don’t want to respond in kind!  Where was the counter-batter attack?
  2. Didn’t we know where they came from, with all the hi-tech detection and satellite info we have in use?

You may anonymously respond to me directly at and just tell me that you do not want your name used including additional open source web references.

This is a big story to me as I have children deployed with the Eisenhower carrier group. It is hard to believe the US does not know more 24 hours after the attacks.

Rating 3.00 out of 5