MSQ-T43 Threat Simulator near Cedar Gate

In 6/2001, at the same time the Keno airfield was constructed (see link below), this mobile radar site with "Smokey SAM" launchers was installed about 1.2 miles north of Cedar Gate just inside the fence line. Smokey SAMs are practice surfaceto-air missiles used in the air exercises around the Nellis Ranges. This new SAM site is a threat simulator for exercises at the Keno air strip as well as for Red Flag exercises.

It turns out to be a MSQ-T43 Version 1 threat simulator, a brand-new system being tested in the ranges. From an official document: The MSQ-T43 is an electronic warfare threat simulator used by combat ranges to train aircrews on how to effectively engage or defend against enemy surface-to-air threats. The T43 Version 1 provides signals that emulate the SA-6 (Straight Flush and Gainful); the newer T43 Version 4 provides signals that emulate the SA-8 (Landroll and Gecko).

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The control trailer for the new MSQ-T43 site near the Cedar Gate fence. This photo was taken in September 2001. Since then a second trailer has been added, which features a large antenna.
The trailer on the left is an explosives storage unit for "Smokey SAM" surface to air practice missiles. We found lots of burned out Smokey SAMs in that area. Thanks to Keith Watkins for identifying the triangular explosives markings.

Closer look at some of the equipment. There are two mobile generator units and a fuel tank on the right, a group of several large electric switch boxes in the center and an air-conditioned trailer that houses the controls on the left. Notice the heavy duty cables from the generators to the switch boxes. Photo taken in June 2001.

The actual MSQ-T43 radar unit. Massive motors can move it in two directions. It is not designed as a rotating search radar, but rather as a targeting radar that points in the assumed direction of the approaching aircraft. The round cylinder on top is an optical target tracking system.

These are the launchers for the Smokey SAMs. One is sticking up on the post in the foreground.

The sign on the access road says: "WARNING. RF RADIATION HAZARD. A RF radiation hazard to personnel exists. Check with operating personnel before proceeding BEYOND THIS POINT."

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