QinetiQ has developed a new radar, Alarm™, specifically designed to provide sufficient warning against short range, low trajectory rocket attacks, enabling personnel to take evasive action and significantly reduce casualties.

The availability of mortars and rockets to a wide variety of groups makes indirect fire a continuing threat to military bases. Conventional mortar locating radar systems detect high trajectory rounds and can predict the point of origin and the point of impact, giving troops valuable seconds warning to take cover. However, short range, low trajectory rocket attacks are difficult to detect and their high velocity reduces the amount of potential warning time available.

The Alarm™ radar is fully automatic, requires no manning and can be set up in 2 to 3 hours. It has proven to be effective in a series of trials against several hundred short range rockets, and the capability has been extended to cover other direct fire weapons. The training burden is small and the system exhibits a very low false alarm rate (essential for an automated system) and a very high probability of detection. Alarm™ is now in high rate production.

QinetiQ has now been awarded a second contract for a quantity of radars and software development and has plans to develop the capability further to address other key threats, therefore maintaining a leading edge and local expertise in this specialist area.

Dr. Jeremy Ward, at QinetiQ in Malvern said: “I am delighted that our talented radar scientists and engineers have once again demonstrated that we have outstanding capability to solve difficult problems. Alarm is a world first for this type of solution, building on our 70 year heritage of developing radar and shows great future promise in being able to address challenging threats of the future to NATO forces.”