US to Ship Modified Radar Systems to Ukraine

US  AN/TPQ-36 radar system, April 20, 1996Advanced radar systems being shipped to Ukraine to counter artillery strikes by pro-Russia separatists have been modified to prevent them from peering into Russia, according to U.S. officials.

President Barack Obama signed an order on Sept. 29 to give Ukraine two radar systems worth $10 million each. U.S. officials said this week that the systems would arrive at Ukraine’s Yavoriv training ground by mid-November….

But with a cease-fire holding in eastern Ukraine and artillery attacks significantly reduced, the U.S. doesn’t want the equipment to antagonize Russia. The modifications are supposed to ensure that Ukrainian forces don’t escalate the current conflict by using the new systems to counter fire originating from Russian territory, officials said.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the modifications to weaken the radar were symptomatic of a “delusional view” by the Obama administration that Mr. Putin will modify his behavior in Ukraine.

“This is part of their continuing effort to appease Vladimir Putin,” he said. “It sends a signal to Russia and Ukraine that we are not willing to seriously confront Vladimir Putin’s aggression….”

The systems, known as AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radar, will be given to front-line Ukrainian army troops to use….

Army officials identified surplus radar that could be sent to Ukraine last summer. But the transfer had to be approved by the White House

The U.S. has spent months vetting Ukrainian units that would use the new systems. Officials said the vetting took longer than expected but would be complete by the time the radar systems arrive next month….

U.S. Army officials have identified six surplus Q-36 systems currently stored in a Pennsylvania depot.

Image: US AN/TPQ-36 radar system, April 20, 1996 (photo: Sgt. Jean-Marc Schaible/US Army)