C^sup 4^ Support to Effects and Fires

Army, October 2004 | Go to article overview

C^sup 4^ Support to Effects and Fires


The Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) provides automated fire-support command, control and communications for Army, Navy and Marine Corps including target-weapon pairing for optimum use of fire-supporKassets and automated planning, coordination and control of all fire-support assets. AFATDS performs the attack analysis necessary to determine the optimal weapontarget pairing to provide maximum use of the fire-support assets (field artillery, mortars, close air support, naval gunfire, attack helicopters and offensive electronic warfare). AFATDS will automatically implement detailed commander's guidance in the automation of operational planning, movement control, targeting, target value analysis and fire-support planning.

This project is a replacement system for the lightweight tactical fire direction system (LTACFIRE) initial fire-support automated system (IFSAS), battery computer system (BCS) and fire direction system (FDS). AFATDS will intemperate with the other Army battle command systems (ABCS), current and future Navy and Air Force command and control weapon systems, and the German, French, British and Italian fire-support systems. AFATDS will perform the fire-support command, control and coordination requirements at all echelons of field artillery and maneuver, from echelons above corps to battery or platoon in support of all levels of conflict. The system is composed of common hardware/software used in varying configurations at different operational facilities (or nodes) and unique system software interconnected by tactical communications in the form of a software-driven, automated network. AFATDS began fielding 1995 to the 1st Cavalry Division and is completely fielded to the active Army. Fielding continues to remaining field artillery units in the Army National Guard.

A critical capability for the warfighter are battlefield radars that can detect, classify and locate enemy mortar, artillery, rocket and missile systems within seconds of their firing, allowing immediate and overwhelming responses. The AN/TPQ-36 and AN/TPQ-37 are mortar and artillery locating systems that have been used extensively in OEF and OIF with great success and are credited with forcing the enemy to radically change their tactics. The AN/TPQ-36(V)8 Electronics Upgrade to the mortar-, artillery- and rocket-locating Firefinder radar improves the operations control group (OCG) through the installation of state-of-the-art electronics and common hard ware/software (CHS) in the lightweight multipurpose shelter (LMS). The upgrade is an open architecture design, and it allows Firefinder to communicate on the digitized battlefield. The operations central (OC) (previously the OCG) is mounted on an M1097 heavy Humvee, which tows the antenna-transceiver group (ATG) on a modified M116A3 trailer. A second M1097 Humvee carries a palletized TVIEP-112A generator and tows an M116A2E1 cargo trailer. A Humvee reconnaissance vehicle (M998 or M1038) tows a second (backup) MEP-112A generator mounted on an M116A2E1 trailer.

Major subsystems of the OC include an operator control station (OCS), a control/display terminal (CDT), a radar processor and a shelter. The CDT allows the operator to command and control system operations from a remote site up to 100 meters from the shelter. The radar processor performs all system-processing functions not assigned to the OCS and is programmable and reconfigurable to maximize system performance under varying target and operating environment conditions. The OCS provides the man-machine interface and is a modern Windows-type display. The LMS enhances the man-machine interface and electronics environment by providing 50 percent more interior space. Eighty-eight new Firefinder (V)8 systems have been procured by the Army since 1997 and 22 systems have been procured by the Marine Corps since 1998.

The AN/TPQ-37(V)8 Firefinder is a mobile, phased-array, artillery-locating radar system. It is larger than the AN/TPQ-36 and its target acquisition range is greater. …

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C^sup 4^ Support to Effects and Fires
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