Bahrain Receives TPS-59 Missile Defense Radar
In addition to its strategic location athwart the Persian Gulf shipping lanes, Bahrain is also the base for the US 5th fleet.
In May 2004, the U.S. Marine Corps awarded Lockheed Martin a $43.6 million contract to provide the AN/TPS-59(V)3B ballistic missile defense radar system, along with associated supplies, equipment and services, to the Kingdom of Bahrain as a foreign military sale. The production line was restarted, and a new radar was produced. Earlier in 2007, members of the Bahrain Defence Force were trained how to operate and maintain the system at Lockheed Martin’s Radar Systems facility in Syracuse, NY. An Oct 2/07 Lockheed Martin release noted that he Kingdom’s TPS-59 radar proceeded smoothly through a site acceptance test in August 2007, and is now being used by the Bahrain Defence Force for air surveillance.
Originally built in the 1980s, the TPS-59v3 is a tactically mobile all solid-state L-Band, 3-dimensional air defense radar with long-range surveillance and intercept capability. It supports enroute traffic control to a distance of 300 nautical miles, and its full 360 degree azimuth scan over a 740 km/ 400 nautical mile range results in a surveillance volume of 603 million km3. The TPS-59 is in also in service with the USMC and Egypt, and is the only long range 3D Radar in the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Ongoing upgrades and enhancements have maintained these radars at a state-of-the-art technology level, and all of those enhancements were incorporated into Bahrain’s new radar. After talking with Lockheed Martin, DID can confirm that counting Bahrain’s new acquisition, 17 AN/TPS-59v3 radars now operate in theaters around the world, including Afghanistan & Iraq. The related FPS-117 family of solid-state radars, meanwhile, is in service with the USA’s Air Force and in 16 countries around the world.
The TPS-59v3 is designed to operate with Patriot or Hawk missile batteries, and even naval AEGIS systems. Its power and range even make it suitable for ballistic missile defense roles. In August 1996, at White Sands Missile Range, the AN/TPS-59v3 + HAWK system completed a test program in which it intercepted and destroyed a LANCE short range theater ballistic missile and 2 air breathing drones simultaneously in an operational test.