The Marine Corps new expeditionary air-defense radar, developed by Northrop Grumman [NOC] has passed two major program milestones.

The Ground Weapon Locating Radar (GWLR) mode for the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) passed preliminary design review in February and a critical design review (CDR) in August, clearing the system for fabrication and testing.

An initial integration event (IIE) is scheduled for October to test the system’s ability to collect data on several targets. That test will, in turn, assist in the remaining integration work.

AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). Photo: Northrop Grumman
AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). Photo: Northrop Grumman

The GWLR mode adds software to the G/ATOR system to detect, track, and identify rocket, artillery, and mortar projectiles, both 360-degree and sector-only. The GWLR mode addresses multiple types of simultaneous threats. 

The IIE will be an initial demonstration of G/ATOR’s ability to detect and track multiple types of incoming airborne threats simultaneously.

G/ATOR has a significant output power advantage compared to current U.S. counter-fire target acquisition radars, equating directly to longer-range threat detection and tracking. This provides additional time to successfully engage and negate these threats with both current and future longer-range engagement weapons.

“It is critical that we deliver this capability to our warfighters on time and at an affordable cost,” Roshan Roeder, director of mission solutions at Northrop Grumman, said in a prepared statement. “Our unmatched experience in developing and fielding algorithms for the counter-fire targeting mission, combined with internally-funded risk reduction systems that have participated in nearly 1,000 live fire events prior to this contract award, ensured the successful completion of these reviews and support an initial operating capability for G/ATOR Block II in mid-2018.”