AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel

The AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel is a 3D radar used to alert and queue Short Range Air Defense (SHORAD) weapons to the locations of hostile targets approaching their front line forces. The Sentinel radar is deployed with forward area air defense units of the U.S. Army. It is an X-band range-gated, pulse-Doppler radar system. The antenna uses phase-frequency electronic scanning technology, forming sharp 3D pencil beams covering large surveillance and track volume. The radar automatically acquires, tracks, classifies, identifies and reports targets, including cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. It uses a high scan rate (30 RPM) and operates at a range of 40 km (25 mi). The radar is designed with high resistance to electronic countermeasures (ECM). Mounted on a towed platform, it can be positioned remotely from the rest of the unit, operated autonomously and communicate with the Fire Direction Center (FDC) via wideband fiber-optic link. It can also distribute its data over a SINCGARS radio network.

AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel
A Sentinel radar
Country of originUnited States
FrequencyX band
RangeAN/MPQ-64: 40 km (25 mi)
AltitudeOperating: 3,000 m (9,800 ft)
Non-operating: 12,000 m (39,000 ft)
Elevation–10° to +55°

Main characteristics

  • Acquisition and Tracking Surveillance Radar
  • Proven X-band, 5D Radar
  • 30 RPM (ABT) 20 RPM (ADEF) Rotation Rate
  • Low-altitude, medium-range air defense sensor
  • Detects fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, cruise missiles, and UAVs at reduced ranges and trucks on a highway
  • Azimuth: 360 deg; altitude: 40,000 m (130,000 ft); range: 80,000 m (260,000 ft) effective
  • Large Surveillance and Track Volume
  • Automatic Programmable Digital Output
  • Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Signal and Data Processor
  • Low Side Lobes and Narrow Pencil Beam
  • Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) and Anti-Radiation Missile (ARM) resistant
  • High mobility, transportability and reliability
  • Deployed using modified HMMWV fitted with a 400 Hz on-board generator
  • Provides identification of friendly aircraft through IFF


1. Under an ongoing product modernization program, Sentinel is equipped with new, modern COTS-based electronics which ensures greater performance while implementing a low risk technology insertion. This Improved Sentinel Radar provides a significant range extension improvement.

  • Improved target detection at extended rangesespecially cruise missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • Improved target detection for rotary-wing and fixed-wing aircraft
  • Improved capability to cue targets beyond visual range

2. The Army has designated the Sentinel radar as an objective force system (to remain in the field until 2030) and has developed a modernization plan to meet those requirements.
3. Multi Mode Sentinel: New operational mode developed for acquisition and tracking of Rocket, Artillery and Mortar (RAM) Fire.

  • Software modification provides for quick updates of fielded systems worldwide.
  • This new counter mortar mode brings the essential capabilities for 360 degree azimuth detection for RAM fire.
  • This new counter mortar mode provides rapid information on the origin of the hostile fire as well as an estimate of the impact point of the fire which is useful to warn personnel of imminent danger.

The new version is named AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel.


Before its acquisition by Raytheon, the Hughes Aircraft Co. developed the AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar at its Fullerton, California, facility, and manufactures it at its Forest, Mississippi, plant.

See also

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