U.S. Marine Corps orders six more G/ATOR air-defense radar systems to watch for low-observable threats

The G/ATOR radar is designed to protect Marine Corps warfighters on invasion beaches from rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, and UAVs.

Gator Radar 9 Dec 2019 5dee5da5d0a2c

QUANTICO MARINE BASE, Va. – U.S. Marine Corps surveillance experts are ordering six more versions of a new radar system designed to protect Marines on attack beaches from rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and other low observables.

Officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., announced a $189 million three-year contract Friday to the Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems segment in Linthicum, Md., for six full-rate production versions of the Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR).

G/ATOR is an expeditionary, three-dimensional, short-to-medium-range, multi-role radar system designed to detect low-observable targets with low radar cross sections such as rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, and UAVs. Marine Corps leaders are developing and fielding G/ATOR in three blocks for use by the Marine Air Ground Task Force across the range of military operations, officials say.

The Northrop Grumman G/ATOR radar is designed to protect deployed Marine Corps warfighters on invasion beaches from rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, and UAVs. This procurement also includes spares parts and retrofit kits.

Northrop Grumman built G/ATOR for short-range air-defense (SHORAD) and tactical air operations center (TAOC) air surveillance missions, including identification friend-or-foe (IFF). The increment I design was to provide for growth to all following increments without equipment re-design and provide an open architecture to enable upgrades with following increments.

The G/ATOR program was to showcase new component technologies, including the VPX embedded computing fast switch-fabric interconnect. As part of the G/ATOR program's first increment, Northrop Grumman awarded a $4.3 million contract in 2008 to the Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions segment in Ashburn, Va., for VPX-based embedded computers for radar signal processing, to be delivered by 2010.

The Ground Weapons Locating Radar (GWLR) portion of G/ATOR uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar technology to provide several different radar missions and adapt automatically to changing battlefield conditions.

The Marine Corps last month announced a $13 million order to Northrop Grumman for extra supplies of radar semiconductor materials to plug a potential manufacturing gap for the G/ATOR. Last June the Marines ordered 30 full-rate G/ATOR systems in a contract worth $958 million.

On Friday's order Northrop Grumman will do the work in Linthicum, Md., and should be finished by April 2023. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Mission Systems online www.northropgrumman.com.

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