Marines ask Northrop Grumman to take next step in Ground Weapons Locating Radar (GWLR)

QUANTICO, Va., 6 June 2012. U.S. Marine Corps leaders are asking military radar systems designers at Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems sector in Linthicum Heights, Md., to take the next step in developing the Ground Weapons Locating Radar (GWLR) portion of the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) deployable radar system.

Officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., reported plans last week to award a sole-source contract to Northrop Grumman to design and build the second increment of the GWLR component of the G/ATOR system. The amount of the contract has yet to be negotiated (story continues below).

The G/ATOR mobile radar is designed to support Marine Corps expeditionary warfare by giving the Marines the ability to detect, track, and provide target-quality data to shoot down enemy aircraft, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, rockets, mortars, and artillery on invasion beaches, as well as provide air traffic control on leading-edge areas of battle.

The GWLR portion of the G/ATOR radar will help forward-deployed Marines locate enemy mortar, artillery, and rocket firing positions quickly enough to direct counter-battery fire at the enemy launchers before the incoming rounds hit.

The G/ATOR program is a single-source solution for the Marine Corps Multi-Role Radar System (MRRS) project and its GWLR requirements. The Marines have built this initiative as an evolutionary acquisition program consisting of increments, with each increment building the capabilities of the preceding increments.

Increment II consists of software to be installed on the first increment's hardware and operating system software, which Northrop Grumman engineers are designing. Northrop Grumman is the only known company that can meet the Marine Corp's G/ATOR GWLR requirements, Marine Corps officials say.

G/ATOR uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology to enable the system to provide several different radar missions and adapt automatically to changing battlefield conditions.

Story continues below the video

G/ATOR uses a scalable open-system architecture and multi-network connectivity to work together with other Navy, U.S. military, and allied command and control systems, Northrop Grumman officials say.

The GWLR portion of G/ATOR offers the Marines a increase in detection range, accuracy, and deployability over currently fielded counter-battery radar systems. The GWLR will interface to the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) located in deployed fire-direction centers.

GWLR will provide deployed Marine Corps forces with 24-hour target-acquisition capability to detect mortars, artillery, and rockets as far away as nearly 45 miles.

For more information contact Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems online at, or Marine Corps Systems Command at

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