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To reduce probability of intercept, in most cases, the form and magnitude of the radar transmissions are designed to spread energy over as wide a range of dimensions as possible. Equally, in response to this, designs for electronic surveillance measures (ESM) systems have been postulated that increase receiver sensitivity. Their purpose is to increase detection range beyond that of the radar (or to an adequate range if they are to be forward deployed). The authors examine the evolving nature of the relationship between advanced 'low probability of intercept' (LPI) radar designs and future trends in ESM receiving capability. This relationship is far from straightforward, being both probabilistic and dependent on environmental and operational factors. Indeed this is complicated still further by the issue of affordability. The authors compute the performance of ESM and radar systems for a number of cases, including not just simple interception, but also the extraction of information from intercepted signals. In this way the key factors influencing the detectability of LPI radar systems are determined. It is demonstrated that it is never possible to be completely certain that a radar system has not been detected and that the most appropriate way to implement an LPI radar design is always closely related to the tactical environment in which the radar system will be used. Indeed this often overrides the technical aspects of system performance.