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An efficient approach for calculating the far-field patterns of conformal array antennas mounted on arbitrarily shaped platforms is proposed in this paper. Starting from the superposition principle for arrays, an active-element-pattern technique, including element mutual coupling and platform effects, is used to illuminate the radiation characteristics of arrays. By dividing all element into different parts and neglecting the weak mutual coupling affected by far elements for each part, a large array problem can be divided into a superposition of various simplified subarray problems. Coordinate rotations are derived and applied to array elements for calculating total field radiation. Two numerical examples indicated that the proposed method is well validated. These results showed that the proposed method with the active-element-pattern technique has an advantage in calculating large array antennas, when other methods become incapable due to computer hardware limitations.