SRC (formerly Syracuse Research Corp.), SRCTec, Technology Services Corp. and the Tobyhanna Army Depot, Tobyhanna, PA, have jointly developed a breakthrough simulation capability for the Lightweight Counter-Mortar Radar (LCMR) – the Live Fire Test Simulator (LFTS). The high-fidelity, radio frequency simulator was developed for the US Army’s Product Manager Radars, Fort Monmouth, NJ, as an alternative to live ammunition testing. This will drastically reduce system delivery time, associated testing costs for the US Army, and reduce the impact on the environment.

The LCMR, which is widely used in combat operations, automatically detects and locates mortar firing positions and their projected impact points. Following a successful validation test of the simulator in November 2008, US Army PM Radars began to use the LFTS for LCMR system test and acceptance. The LFTS operates in an electrically controlled chamber, and simulates the firing of a wide variety of ammunition and shot scenarios. Inside the chamber, the radar operates the same as a fielded unit, and delivers measured launch and impact points from which radar performance can be evaluated.

Following the manufacture or repair of an LCMR system, each unit is tested by the US Army to ensure a fully operational and capable system is fielded. Until recently, live ammunition firing at test ranges, such as Yuma Proving Ground, Yuma, AZ, was the only means by which the US Army could test the radars. Simulation technologies that were previously available were not capable of testing a complete radar system. Not only does the LFTS save the US Army money and time, it eliminates the concern of contamination and reduces dangerous air emissions from impact explosions, excess metal scrap, and the need to transport the munitions.

The LCMR was developed by SRC in 2001. The LCMR received the “Army’s Top 10 Inventions” Award in 2004. This Award distinguishes best technological solutions for soldiers, and how these new technologies increase competence for the US Army.