Plot (radar)

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The surface plot on a Cold War era British warship

In naval terminology a plot is a graphic display that shows all collated data from a ship's on-board sensors, i.e. radar, sonar and EW systems. They also displayed information from external sources, i.e. other vessel or aircraft reports. There are four different types of plot, each with varying capabilities, i.e. range, depending on their role;[1]

  • Air plot: Used for tracking air contacts, i.e. planes and EW information.
  • Surface plot: Used for tracking contacts on the surface of the water, i.e. other ships.[2][3][4] It can also perform a variety of roles such as:
  • Sub-surface plot: Used for tracking contacts below the surface of the water, i.e. submarines.
  • General operations plot: Used for tracking shipping on a large-scale chart. Was also used to display exercise boundaries, airlanes and other significant features of maritime interest. In the Royal Australian Navy, the scale used was generally 5 or 10 miles (8.0 or 16.1 km) per 1 inch (25 mm).


  1. ^ Friedman, Norman (2006). Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems (Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapons Systems). US Naval Institute Press. p. 85. ISBN 1-55750-262-5. Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  2. ^ a b c Federation of American Scientists. "INFORMATION SHEET". Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  3. ^ a b c NAVAL ORDNANCE AND GUNNERY VOLUME 2, FIRE CONTROL (1958). "CHAPTER-16-G". Retrieved 2008-12-11.
  4. ^ a b United States Navy. "Radar Bulletin No. 6, (RADSIX), CIC Manual". Retrieved 2008-12-11.