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Radar is a common term used to describe a Multiple Sensor Suite commonly found on units in the BattleTech Universe. Radar is the primary method of ranged non-visual unit detection and has two modes of operation.

Radar Modes

Radar in "passive" mode; note the blue 300m range circle in center

Vehicles can be in active or passive radar mode, affecting detection of and detectability by enemy units. The radar mode can be toggled by pressing the [R] key.

Active Radar

Active radar works by sending out signals to detect enemy vehicles up to 1000m away. This function also boosts the radar cross section of any unit currently in active radar mode, making it much easier to detect. Active radar can be enhanced by utilizing an active radar probe, which can extend the detection radius by up to 400m. Active radar mode is also required to establish missile locks, to enable missiles to seek towards an active NARC or TAG, and to receive and share C3 radar data.

Passive Radar

Passive radar functions by only listening for the signals sent out by other units, which drops the radar range to 300 meters but also makes unit much more difficult to detect. Passive radar cannot be enhanced in any way, and other than the reduction in range and radar visibility, it functions identically to active radar. Note that hostile vehicles using passive radar, as well as those in active radar mode but shielded by ECM, are undetectable in passive radar mode.

Important Note: Since passive radar mode also disables any electronic or radar equipment (GECM, AECM, BAP, BHP) the effects do not stack!

Battle Armor radar is very weak compared to the normal suite, having a detection range of only 300m, but it also makes Battle armor much more difficult to detect on Radar.

Detection range

Radar detection depends on several factors.

  • Units running an active radar can be detected from the greatest range.
  • Units running a passive radar have a shorter detection range (-750m for standard radar and -500m for C3 radar).
  • Units protected by electronic countermeasures (GECM and AECM) have reduced detection ranges
  • Powered down units can only be detected by enemies equipped with an active BAP or BHP.
  • Terrain can be used as a cover to lower the detailed identification range.
  • Radar data can be shared between multiple friendly units with C3, making C3-equipped 'Mechs excellent scouts.

AECM* = Under the effect of a friendly AECM.


The moment an asset's heat level increases over the red line, they are equally visible to having no radar protection and running in Active Radar mode, regardless of sensor packages such as GECM.

See Also

  • GECM - Reduces detectability by 500 meters and increases enemy missile lock-on time.
  • AECM - Reduces detectability of nearby friendly units within 300m of the bearer by 700 meters and also increases enemy missile lock-on time against affected friendly units. The bearer is unaffected by his own AECM.
    • Note: The bearer has to remain in active radar mode in order for the AECM to be effective.
  • BAP - Expands detection range by +200 meters, or +100 for BA.
  • BHP - Expands detection range by +400 meters, or +200 for BA.
  • C3 - Allows sharing Radar data, when passive reduces detection range by -500 instead of the usual -750.