Officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., announced a $58.7 million contract Friday to the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems segment in Linthicum Heights, Md., for the Block 2 software upgrade to the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR).
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.
G/ATOR Block 1 developed the system's short- and medium-range radar system hardware and air surveillance mission software. G/ATOR Block 2 software, meanwhile, will add ground weapons locating radar (GWLR) functionality.
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 GWLR component of G/ATOR offers the Marines an 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. Northrop Grumman experts will install the G/ATOR Block 2 software on the Block I hardware and operating software to address GWLR functions.
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.
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.