The Marine Corps has completed initial operational tests for the first two blocks of its new mobile 360-degree radar system, with six systems already fielded and a full-rate production decision expected soon, a service spokesperson told Defense Daily.
The Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR), built by Northrop Grumman [NOC], is designed to provide an advanced, multi-mission Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for the Marine Corps as officials look to better defend against a growing array of short and medium range threats, including cruise missiles and rockets.
Northrop Grumman announced Monday G/ATOR had passed Initial Operational Tests & Evaluation, with the Marine Corps clarifying that Block 1 was approved in October and Block 2 in December.
“The G/ATOR program office verified the systems met capability requirements and operated as designed,” the spokesperson told Defense Daily.
A total of eight systems have been delivered to the Marine Corps, with an overall acquisition objective of 45 radars.
The first six low-rate initial production systems were delivered in early 2017.
“Through our close partnership with the Marine Corps, we have been able to successfully achieve the IOT&E milestone and begin fielding this radar system with unrivaled mission capability to operational units,” Christine Harbison, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s land and avionics C4ISR, said in a statement. “We are proud to deliver hardware enabled, software defined advanced ground radar systems that meet our customer’s mission needs, protect the warfighter in a rapidly changing threat environment, and have significant margin for capability growth.”
The Marine Corps previously told Defense Daily a full-rate production decision for G/ATOR was expected in the third quarter of FY19 (Defense Daily, July 31 2018).