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The AN/MPQ-2 Close Cooperation Control Unit[1] was a truck-mounted[2] post-World War II automatic tracking radar/computer/communication system ("Q" system) for aircraft command guidance, e.g., missile tracking, and for Radar Bomb Scoring. For ground directed bombing (GDB), an operator would manually plot a target on the "Blind Bombing Plotting Sheet",[3] then use the manual "E6B computer and bombing tables" to plot the release point for striking the target,[4] after which a radar operator used the MPQ to acquire a track of the bomber near an initial point during which allowed ground control of the bomb run to the release point.

Based on the World War II SCR-584 radar[5] developed by MIT and which was used for the "SCR-584-M missile control Receiver and beacon", the MPQ-2 included an "RC-294 Plotter"[4] and its analog computer for converting radar range, azimuth, and elevation to cartesian coordinates, as well as a plotting board for drawing the aircraft track. The AN/MPQ-2 was the basis for the Rome Air Development Center's AN/MSQ-1 & -2 Close Support Control Sets also used in the Korean War,[6] and the MSQ-1A was used for command guidance of the Matador missile.


Radar Bomb Scoring detachments of the Colorado Springs' 206th Army Air Force Base Unit (organized on June 6, 1945) used MPQ-2s at Kansas City[where?] and Fort Worth Army Airfield[7] and in 1946, the 4th launch of a V-2 at White Sands Proving Ground (1946) was tracked by two MPQ-2s.[8] In addition to the CONUS RBS detachments (e.g., Detachments C, K, & N), Detachment 23's AN/MPQ-2 was at the Heston Radar Bomb Scoring Site on November 10, 1950,[9] and after deployment to the Korean War, the three AN/MPQ-2 radars of the 3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group RBS detachments were transferred in January 1951 under the operational control of the 502nd Tactical Control Group (TCG).[2] The MPQ-2 guided Martin B-26 Marauders against enemy positions in front of the 25th Infantry Division.",[10] and On February 23, 1951, the 1st Boeing B-29 Superfortress mission controlled by an MPQ-2 was flown,[11]


  1. ^ Adoption of Standard Operating Procedure for AN/MPQ-2 Close Cooperation Control Unit (IRIS summary form) (Report). 1947. Retrieved January 31, 2012. AN/MPQ-2 CLOSE COOPERATION CONTROL UNIT AS RECOMMENDED BY AIR PROVING GROUND COMMAND PROJECT REPORT NO. H 4488
  2. ^ a b Y'Blood, William T (2002). Down in theWeeds: Close Air Support in Korea (PDF) (Report). The U.S. Air Force in Korea. AIR FORCE HISTORICAL STUDIES OFFICE (Air Force Histories and Museum Program). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 27, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2013. Ground-based radar was first tried on November 28, when a detachment of the 3903d Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron used truck-mounted AN/MPQ-2 radars to guide B–26s against enemy. … The 502d Tactical Control Group (TCG) was given the task of developing procedures and equipment for this mission. Initially, radio beacons placed along the front lines were used, but these did not permit sufficiently precise bombing parameters. In January 1951, the group assumed operational control of the 3903d's three MPQ-2 radar detachments. Nine months later the 502d assumed complete control of the detachments, which allowed the 3903d Squadron to return to the United States. The MPQ-2 detachments then became full-scale tactical air-direction posts called Tadpoles. Code-named Hillbilly, Beverage, and Chestnut, they were positioned about ten miles behind the front lines near the command posts of the I, IX, and X Corps. (quoted by Archived 2012-02-04 at the Wayback Machine )
  3. ^ title tbd, Record Group 342: Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations, 1900 - 2003, 1 June 1951 to RD 3562 MPQ-2 Blind Bombing Plotting Sheets
  4. ^ a b "3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group" (Web Bulletin Board). Retrieved May 20, 2012. Initially we had SCR-584 Radar and the RC-294 Plotting Equip. … I[who?] would imediately [sic] begin working the bomb problem using an E6B computer and bombing tables.
  5. ^ Mcmurran, Marshall William (September 22, 2008). An Unnecessary War. ISBN 9781462810642. These air direction parties made very good use of the AN/MPQ-2 radars that were improved WW II SCR-584 gun-laying radars
  6. ^ Smith, Historian John Q; Byrd, SSgt David A. Forty Years of Research and Development at Griffiss Air Force Base: June 1951-June 1991 (Report). Archived from the original (AD-A250 435, RL-TR-92-45) on April 8, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2013. RADC developed the AN/MSO-1 and the AN/MSQ-2, which provided the first system designed for both bomb scoring and bomb directing functions. The MSO mobile Close Support Control Set was able to guide and record missile flights, in addition to its directing and scoring capabilities.
  7. ^ author tbd (November 9, 1983). Hellickson, Gene--2007 transcription using Microsoft Word (ed.). Historical Summary: Radar Bomb Scoring, 1945-1983 (PDF) (Report). Office of History, 1st Combat Evaluation Group. Retrieved October 1, 2012. On 6 June 1945, the 206th Army Air Force Base Unit (RBS) ( 206th AAFBU), was activated art Colorado Springs, Colorado under the command of Colonel Robert W. Burns. He assumed operational control of the two SCR-584 radar detachments located at Kansas City and Fort Worth [Det B], Texas. … On 24 July 1945, the 206th was redesignated the 63rd AAFBU (RBS) and three weeks later was moved to Mitchell [sic] Field, New York, and placed under the command of the Continental Air Force. [sic] On 5 March 1946, the organization moved back to Colorado Springs and on 8 March of the same year was redesignated the 263rd AAFBU. {{cite report}}: |author= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: numeric names: editors list (link) (html transcription available at [1])
  8. ^ Upper Air Rocket Summary: V-2 No. 4 (Report). May 29, 1946. Retrieved January 13, 2013. Two SCR-584, and two AN/MPQ-2 stations. … Automatic radar tracking inferior to optical directing.
  9. ^ "Uncorrelated Targets Comparable to B-29". AN/MPQ-2.. Observation was made from a radar van at Heston Airdrome (51deg. 29' N -- 00 deg. 23' W).
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 27, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Air force Magazine 2000". Archived from the original on October 23, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2013.