The Air Force's Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar program is in the technology demonstration phase. Its aim is to field a new ground-based sensor system for detecting, identifying, tracking and reporting aircraft and missiles.
Contracts for the first phase of 3DELRR were awarded in May 2009 to a team led by Lockheed Martin and another led by Sensis Corp., DefenseNews reported, and Northrop is anticipating an Air Force request for second-phase proposals by the end of this year.
According to DefenseNews a Northrop executive said G/ATOR, under development for the U.S. Marines, meets 81 percent of 3DELRR's mission requirements against air-breathing targets and 92 percent of its mission requirements against theater ballistic missiles.
The Air Force could save more than 50 percent of its research and development dollars if it went with G/ATOR rather than developing its own radar, the executive reportedly said. The service's choosing of G/ATOR would also reduce of the Marine radars down by more than 20 percent.
The Marines see the G/ATOR as a replacement for five systems currently used to perform air defense, counter-fire target acquisition and air traffic control missions.