BALTIMORE, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corp has tapped Northrop Grumman to develop and test a ground weapon locating capability for its AN/TPS-80 radar system.
The AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar, or G/ATOR, is a ground-based active electronically scanned array radar system from Northrop Grumman with a scalable open system architecture and a compatibility with other U.S. command-and-control systems.
Under the software upgrade contract, which is worth more than $58.7 million, Marines operators of the C/ATOR system will have a common hardware solution with the ability to switch between air surveillance, air defense, ground weapon locating, and air traffic.
"Inserting this capability into G/ATOR is an important step toward providing the Marines with a highly capable and highly versatile system," said Roshan Roeder, director of the Ground Based Tactical Radars, Land and Self Protection Systems Division, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. "Using an open architecture approach, we're bringing together the best of technology and design experience from ground and airborne applications to create a system that seamlessly facilitates capability upgrades and the insertion of emerging technologies."
The GWLR mode enables G/ATOR to detect and track time-critical incoming threats -- rockets, mortars and artillery, for example. Once incoming threats have been detected, the system analyzes their ballistic trajectories and impact points to enable accurate counter-fire.
Northrop Grumman said it has used a surrogate AESA radar to validate GWLR algorithms and associated software.
The G/ATOR system entered low-rate initial production in 2014. It replaces five legacy systems -- air defense, air-traffic control, short-range air defense, counter-fire target acquisition and target tracking with a single hardware unit and utilizes technology advances through software upgrades.