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AN/TPQ-46 radars give short range, 360-degree coverage of artillery, unguided rocket and mortar projectiles in flight. Formerly called the Lightweight Countermortar Radar, the AN/TPQ-46 complements the directional medium-range AN/TPQ-36 and long-range AN/TPQ-37 radars.

The first purpose of these radars is alerting friendly personnel in the danger area, but also to give point-of-origin information to counterbattery weapons, and to cue defensive counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) systems. The C-RAM and counterbattery missions are complementary; C-RAM destroys projectiles already launched, while counterbattery destroys their launcher.

They are also assigned to the target acquisition function of Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.