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The AN/APR-39 threat warning system is a radar warning receiver, operating in the C through K frequency bands, which also can be a electronics countermeasures suite controller.[1] In various versions, it is deployed on transports, special operations, electronic warfare aircraft, including helicopter, fixed-wing, and tilt-rotor types. Developed for the U.S. Army, it is used by a number of countries; the latest version is the AN/APR-39A(V)2.

The system was manufactured by Northrop Grumman and now by Litton, using a spiral evolution model in which the original APR-39 has become a fully digital system in the (V)2 model. More and more requirements are being found, such as defending civil aviation from terrorist threats. [2]

Integrating role

Early models lacked an integrating role, requiring direct aircrew interpretation since this system has no Emitter Identification Data (EID) software, now referred to as Mission Data Sets (MDS). In its system control role, the modern unit is considered the heart of the manufacturer's Suite of Integrated Sensors & Countermeasures (SISCM) [3] The device alerts the crew both with visual indications on a multifunction display as well as audio warnings of critical threats.

It provides coverage for C/D and E through J band continuous wave (CW) radar. The system has the capability of detecting most pulse radars normally associated with hostile surface-to-air missiles, airborne intercepts, or anti-aircraft artillery.

Controlled components

It can interface with the AN/AVR-2 and AN/AAR-47 laser warning receivers, AN/ALQ-136 pulse radar jammer ,and AN/ALQ-162 continuous wave radar jammer. It can use the AN/ALE-47 expendable dispenser and towed decoy controller, although the ALE-47 is the suite controller on a number of higher-performance aircraft. Cost-effectiveness and technical considerations generally lead at least some electronic warfare components to be optimized for different aircraft performance ranges, although commonality is always desirable.

Representative users