Radar Trap Defense

Here is another little story that has been floating out there for a while.

Top this for a speeding ticket

Two California Highway Patrol Officers were conducting speeding enforcement on I-15, just north of the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar California . One of the officers was using a handheld radar device to check speeding vehicles approaching the crest of a hill.

The officers were suddenly surprised when the radar gun began reading 300 miles per hour. The officer attempted to reset the radar gun, but it would not reset and then turned off.

Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact locked on to a USMC F/A-18 Hornet, which was engaged in a low flying exercise near the location.

Back at the CHP Headquarters the Patrol Captain fired off a complaint to the USMC Base Commander. The reply came back in true USMC style:

Thank you for your letter. We can now complete the file on this incident.

You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Hornet had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked on to, your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it, which is why it shut down.

Furthermore, an Air-to-Ground missile aboard the fully armed aircraft had also automatically locked on to your equipment location.

Fortunately, the Marine Pilot flying the Hornet recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile system alert status and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched to destroy the hostile radar position.
The pilot also suggests you cover your mouths when cussing at them, since the video systems on these jets are very high tech. Sergeant Johnson, the officer holding the radar gun, should get his dentist to check his left rear molar. It appears the filling is loose. Also, the snap is broken on his holster.

Thank you for your concern.

Semper Fi.

So, while I think that we all agree that this is a bit far fetched let me tell you a similar true story.  You may have noticed the little Hawk missile launch at the top of the page.  Back in the day, my job was to maintain control components of a HAWK missile battery and make sure that all of the components were aligned and integrated correctly.  Where I was stationed, the HAWK battalion was located quite a distance from the main Air Station at a satellite location.

One day, the MP’s decided that it would be appropriate to set up a speed trap at our little out of the way facility.  Since the speed limit was 15 MPH they had a bit of fun writing tickets that day.  Well, they caught one of the SNCOs going a little too fast on his bike and were kind enough to write him a ticket.  As a result he was late for formation, and so on.  He was seriously pissed off.  After a chat with the First Sergeant he came stomping over to the Platoon Command Post, and fired up the system.  Using the TASS (video tracking system) on the HiPWR radar he locked on to the MPs and zapped them with the radar from about 700m.  Since the usual range of that radar is measured in many km you can imagine the results.  The MPs hopping around from being microwaved themselves for a couple of seconds, the handheld radar gun was fried and you could see them trying to get it back working again, etc.

While this kind of punitive action was not something that was terribly common, it did happen often enough that the speed traps that were placed out there were not frequent.

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