Advantages of Active Radar Homing | Disadvantages of Active Radar Homing

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Active Radar Homing or Radar guided Air to Air missile system. It mentions benefits or advantages of Active Radar Homing and drawbacks or disadvantages of Active Radar Homing.

What is Active Radar Homing or Radar guided Air to Air missile system ?

The active radar homing system consists of ground radar system with large size antenna, active radar launch pad with housing for multiple radar guided missiles and active radar missile itself. The ground radar can either be fixed or mobile. The fixed radar usually installed at the site is called air surveillance radar. Radar guided missile houses radar transceiver unlike semi active radar homing missile which contains only radar receiver. Transceiver refers to device consisting of both transmitter and receiver functionalities.

Active Radar Homing Missile System

The figure depicts components of an active radar homing system. As shown it consists of three parts viz. fixed or mobile radar, missile launch pad and radar guided missile. Let us understand working operation of active radar homing system.
• Ground radar station illuminates electro-magnetic energy continuously in the air which gets reflected from the target when it comes in its range.
• Once the Ground radar system detects the long range target, it provides the signal to missle launch pad to release the air to air missile towards the target.
• Once radar guided missile reaches close to the target it utilizes on board radar transceiver to fine tune its range to reach much closer to the target and destroy it.
• To be successful, air to air radar guided missile explodes itself near to the target which destroys all the targets (i.e. rockets) in its vicinity or hit the target directly.

Benefits or advantages of Active Radar Homing or radar guided missile

Following are the benefits or advantages of Active Radar Homing or radar guided missile :
➨It is more accurate compare to land to air missile guided by radar on the ground.
➨It reaches very close to the target due to in built radar transceiver. Hence it has more probabilities to destroy the target.
➨Once fired, it will take care of destroying the target itself and launch platform is no longer needed. This gives time for launch platform to track other targets.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Active Radar Homing

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Active Radar Homing:
➨It is more expensive due to use of radar transceiver compare to semi-active radar homing system.
➨It has lower ERP (Effective Radiated Power) and limited coverage range due to use of battery for its operation.
➨It is not sufficient to hit the long range target without the help of ground based radar system.

➨Refer Semi active Vs. Passive Vs. Active radar homing missile to understand difference between them.

➨Refer difference between AESA radar Vs PESA radar >> and Monostatic radar Vs Bistatic radar >>.


Refer following radar tutorial related links which covers radar basics including its measurements, doppler radar, FMCW radar, radar bands, radar scope, weather radar, radar range and resolution, ground radar etc.
Radar Measurements   Doppler Radar   FMCW RADAR   RADAR BANDs   RADAR SCOPE   Weather Radar   Ground Penetrating Radar System  RADAR RANGE and RESOLUTION  Terminology   Range calculator  

Radar calculators

Following are useful radar calculators to calculate radar range, radar PRF, radar resolution etc.
Radar Range calculator   Radar PRF vs Range   Radar Range Resolution 

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