Construction of a new shortwave radar for the US Air Force is currently beginning on the Pacific island of Palau. This was announced by the US Ministry of Defence (MoD) at the end of December 2022. OTHRs already top the list of reported intruders on our exclusive HF amateur radio bands.
The long-range radar, called Tactical Mobile Over-the-Horizon Radar (TACMOR), could play a special role in monitoring Chinese activities in the Pacific and the South China Sea. The client for the project is the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific, and the work is to be completed by June 2026, as “The War Zone” reports.
According to “The War Zone”, the Palau OTHR will consist of a remote-controlled transmitting site and a separate receiving site consisting of 128 dual-monopole antenna elements. Signal processing will then take place in real time already at the receiving site. The data will then be forwarded to the American and allied forces via an external operational control centre.
OTHRs already top the list of reported intruders on our exclusive amateur radio bands. This is evidenced by the extensive surveys conducted by the IARU Monitoring System (IARUMS). As can be seen from the latest Region 1 statistics, Over-the-Horizon Radars were again the most reported in November, followed by transmissions in various MIL modes. It is these types of transmissions that have the greatest interference potential in our HF amateur radio bands.
(Photo: US-Navy-AN/TPS – 71-Relocatable-Over-the-Horizon-Radar-station; source: USN, public domain)