USMC G/ATOR system completes developmental testing
WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. The U.S. Marine Corps Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) Block 1 completed live developmental testing with support from the Navy's Surface Combat Systems Center (SCSC) at Wallops Island from April 10 to June 21.
The unit tested was the first G/ATOR low-rate initial production (LRIP) system delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) in February by Northrop Grumman. Testing of the G/ATOR Block 1 (GB1) during DT1C focused on validating the LRIP requirements in order to support a limited early fielding decision.
The testing at SCSC, Wallops Island focused on radar performance and combat identification with live and simulated flights and interoperability with the Composite Tracking Network and Cooperative Engagement Capability Systems in an operationally realistic littoral environment. Testing was deemed successful with follow-on testing expected to take place in late fiscal year 2018 at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point and MCAS Yuma.
More than 70 test personnel and Marines evaluated the lightweight, highly mobile, and rapidly deployable Marine Corps Aviation Combat Element asset (G/ATOR AN/TPS-80) to ensure it met the G/ATOR Block 1 (GB1) capability requirements, which include short- and medium-range target detection requirements for unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, and air breathing targets.
"The entire event was well planned and was conducted in a safe and successful manner. All objectives were well defined and valuable data was collected. SCSC looks forward to supporting more of these types of test events in the future," says Nathan Struss, SCSC operations and planning specialist.
The system will provide Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commanders with a reliable and maintainable battlespace sensor designed to alert the force of short-to-medium-range threats by complementing the AN/TPS-59(V)3 long range radar.
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