The AN/MPQ-53 C-band, multifunction phased array radar system is responsible for searching, detection, tracking and identification of potential threats, and Patriot missiles guidance and ECCM functions. The AN/MPQ-53 is remotely controlled by the MSQ-104 control station, via a cable link. It is able to track more than 100 potential targets and to engage up to 9 of them. The radar system has a range in excess of 100 kilometers.

The MPQ-53 radar set has no moving parts and that makes it very hard to jam. Under the PAC-3 program this radar set has been upgraded. The upgraded MPQ-53 radar set is capable of tracking and engaging a major number of targets, while the baseline features could enhanced to better counter emerging threats such as maneuverable ballistic missiles, and stealth cruise missile and aircraft.