The Northrop Grumman Corporation of Rolling Meadows, Illinois reports that the United States Marine Corp has approved its AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) for early fielding. This approval follows the delivery of the final Lot 1 and Lot 2 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) G/ATOR system to the Marines. According to Northrup Grumman, the USMC will field their first two systems by supplying them to Marine Air Control Squadrons 1 and 2 to use during operations.
Early Fielding Means System Ready for Operational Deployment
Early fielding, also known as Initial Operational Capability (IOC), is a significant step in the development that means that a system is ready for operational deployment. Initial Operational Capability is achieved through a rigorous process of testing and validating all of the production systems, spares, logistic support items and documentation. Northrop Grumman points out that as a developer and system integrator the company has taken G/ATOR from concept through to production.
Northrop Grumman has shipped six GaAs technology-based G/ATOR systems to the Marine Corps in Lots 1 and 2. Beginning with Lot 3 deliveries including all of the systems in full-rate production will incorporate high-power, high-efficiency Gallium Nitride (GaN) antenna technology. The company says that this GaN antenna technology will further enhance performance and operational capabilities of the systems.
“Through our close partnership with the Marine Corps, we have been able to achieve this important early fielding milestone,” said Roshan Roeder, vice president, land & avionics C4ISR division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. “We are looking ahead to full-rate production and getting G/ATOR’s unprecedented capabilities to the Marines in the field.”
Northrop Grumman will also provide logistics support to the Marine Corps for G/ATOR systems, under a separate contract.