AN/PPS-5 MSTAR ground radar


---- ARINE (Spanish variant)

EQUIPMENT CATEGORY: Sensors/Electronics -- Ground Radars

PICTURES OF: AN/PPS-5 MSTAR ground radar


The AN/PPS -5 is a battlefield surveillance radar. The system is designed to detect and locate individuals up to 5,468 yds (5,000 m) and groups of men or small vehicles up to 10,936 yds (10,000 m). The system is silent while scanning and can be monitored through headphones (aural Doppler processing) for maximum stealth. The transmitter has a high pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 4,000 pulses per second (4,000 Hz), which results in a short, unambiguous range and high resolution.

The receiver uses a 50-channel, range-gated filter moving target indicator (MTI) processing that can be switched off to locate fixed targets. Each gate covers 109 yd (100 m) of distance from the radar and it is a summation of all 50 channels that provide the video display. Range measurement is manu al, using a magneto-restrictive delay line.

The PPS -5 consists of three packages, all of which can be man-carried.



Initial operational capability (IOC) in 1966. Original production completed. There were more than 1,800 produced.

In 2001, Canada signed a contract for US$13 million with Engineered Support Systems of St. Louis for the production of an unknown number of MSTAR systems. The MSTARs were integrated into the LAV III artillery reconnaissance vehicle. Deliveries began in 2002 and continued throughout 2003.


 Thorn EMI Electronics, Hayes, Middlesex, Great Britain

 Advanced Electronic Co. (AEC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

 Eaton Corp., Long Island, N.Y.

 Engineered Support Systems, St. Louis, Mo.

 Thales Sensors (formerly Racal Radar Defence Systems), Crawley, Great Britain

 Telephonics Corp., Command Systems, Farmingdale, N.Y.


 Great Britain
 Saudi Arabia


                                   Part of I (8.8-9 GHz)

   Combat                          130 lb (59 kg)

   Peak power                      1 kW
   PRF                             4,000 Hz
      personnel                    2.7 nm (3.1 mi,  5 km)
      vehicles                     5.4 nm (6.2 mi, 10 km)
      range                        65 ft (20 m)
      bearing                      0.56 deg (10 mils)

   Band                            J (16-16.5 GHz)
   Power Consumption               65 W
   Antenna                         Parabolic contour with elliptic
                                     outline (34 x 167 cm)

AN/PPS-5C (MSTAR) (SEI) BAND J (10-20 GHz) WEIGHTS Total System 78.20 lb (35.50 kg) Arial head assembly (w/scope) 18.25 lb ( 8.28 kg) Main electronics assembly 28.95 lb (13.13 kg) Control display assembly 12.10 lb ( 5.50 kg) Cable set [32.8 ft (10 m)] 5.13 lb ( 2.32 kg) Tripod 10.60 lb ( 4.81 kg) Headphones 0.90 lb ( 0.60 kg) Battery Box (w/o batteries) 2.00 lb ( 0.91 kg) DIMENSIONS Arial head assembly 23.00 x 17.7 x 24.4 in (585 x 450 x 620 mm) Main electronics assembly 16.90 x 15.0 x 11.6 in (430 x 380 x 295 mm) Control display assembly 6.30 x 17.3 x 14.8 in (160 x 440 x 375 mm) Tripod 29.75 x 6.75 diameter (755 x 171 diameter) PERFORMANCE Peak radiated power 4W Target detection maximum range 14.91 mi (24 km) 1 man walking 4.35 mi ( 7 km) 1 small vehicle 9.94 mi (16 km) 1 large vehicle 14.29 mi (23 km) fall-of-shot (artillery) 7.45 mi (12 km) minimum radial velocity 4.10 ft/s (1.25 m/s) Accuracy range 27.20 ft RMS(8.30 m RMS) azimuth 3.30 mil RMS CEP at 65.6 ft (20 km) 147.54 ft (45.00 m) Temperature range -40 to 131 deg F(-40 to 55 deg C) ELECTRICAL Frequency ku Band Input power <50 Watts compatible MIL-STD 1275 vehicle 24 VDC battery BA-5590 Battery duration >6 hours



Improved version with more advanced technology and range increased to 10.8 nm (12.4 mi, 20 km). More than 100 units have been delivered to the U.S. Army and more than 300 have been exported.

MSTAR man-portable radar (Racal Radar Defense Systems)

Originally the Thorn EMI MSTAR, it replaced the older ZB 298. Considered reliable due to having a built-in test (BIT) that runs continuously. Though carried by two persons, the system requires only a single operator.

The simple parabolic ellipse is made of Kevlar to absorb battle damage and still function. The antenna does not rotate and is initially set by the crew member.

The solid-state system has five multi-layer signal-processing boards and can handle up to 99 target tracks at a time, displaying 10 of them at once.

The display is separated from the radar by up to 66 ft (20 m) of cable. The display is electroluminescent. When in the plan-position indicator (PPI) mode, it can be scaled to standard maps. On the left, the numeric keyboard allows entry of initial parameters. To the right, a compass-rose style keyp ad moves the cursor. Surveillance or acquisition modes can be selected. If the B-scope acquisition mode is selected, the radar can "zoom" on a 0.42-sq mi (1.1-sq km) "area of interest." Thorn EMI claims that the radar has low-probability-of-intercept (LPI) characteristics.

The current MSTAR man-portable radar, by Racal Radar Defence Systems, is virtually the same as the AN/PPS -5, except that the J band for the British MSTAR operates at 10Ghz-20GHz compared with the U.S. version with a range from 16-16.5GHz. A new variation of this radar is the MSTAR 1-10, which allow s selection of the power output from 1W to 10W, making the system harder to detect.

Initial operational capability of this model was in 1990. First unveiled in 1987. In production for the British army for use in the Warrior mechanized artillery observation vehicle (MAOV).


The ARINE is the Spanish variant designed from licensed technology acquired from Racal Radar Defence Systems' MSTAR program. The ARINE has likely completed production. This system weighs 92.6 pounds (42 kg) and operates at frequencies between 12 and 18 GHz. Its operation is comparable to the U.S. A N/PPS -5 and 5B.

AN/PPS -5C (AMSTAR J band)

This variant developed by Racal Defence Electronics for Australia is a variant of the UK J-band (10-20 GHz). The Australian MSTAR (AMSTAR) is intended to be fielded as part of the Australian army's Project-Ninox night-fighting, surveillance and target acquisition program. The upgrade consists of di fferent MMI and a broader detection range. The AMSTAR will replace the existing RASIT radar role.

AN/PPS -5C (MSTAR Ku Band)

This American designation is a day/night, all-weather improvement on the older AN/PPS -5B and the AN/PPS -15. It is a low-power, battlefield surveillance radar transportable by two men and capable of being air-dropped. It has a very low probability of detection and offers detection, location and clas sification of personnel, wheeled and tracked vehicles and helicopters up to nearly 15 miles.

The standard control display assembly/unit (CDA or CDU) has been replaced with an optional man/machine interface (MMI) that uses PC Windows-based software, allowing the soldier to interface with digital map overlays via CD-ROM.

MSTAR also features a built-in maintenance package that allows the radar operator to isolate and repair most problems in less than 30 minutes.


Developed by the Syracuse Research Corp. for the U.S. Army as a cost-effective replacement for the rapidly obsolescing AN/PPS -5 A/B systems. This upgrade replaces the existing electronics while retaining the antenna, feed tripod, azimuth drive and telescope assemblies.


The MSTAR is used widely in many different configurations and can be mounted on wheeled and tracked vehicles. It can also be operated remotely.

MSTAR can provide valuable information to the artillery in support of counter-fire, by providing correction of fall-of-shot of friendly fire relative to the intended target.

The AN/PPS -5C (Ku band) has met military standards for: blowing rain, washability, sand and dust, ice/freezing rain, vibration, shock, audibility, humidity and EMI.


The AN/PPS -5C was employed during Operation Desert Storm and variants were in service with Dutch and British armies during Bosnia hostilities in 1996.

MSTAR was deployed in Saudi Arabia in 1990-1991 with forward artillery observers of the Royal Artillery as part of the British contribution to operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

The MSTAR was also used during the conflicts in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

LATEST UPDATE: 1 July 2008