The US Marine Corps (USMC) has contracted Northrop Grumman to provide an additional nine AN/TPS-80 ground / air task-oriented radar (G/ATOR) low-rate initial production (LRIP) systems.

The company is already under contract to deliver six G/ATOR LRIP systems, with the first slated for delivery in February 2017.

Northrop Grumman mission solutions director Roshan Roeder said: “There are no other GaN ground-based active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars in production today.

"There are no other GaN ground-based active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars in production today."

“G/ATOR is the first DoD ground-based AESA system to incorporate GaN in a production programme. We proposed this technology as a cost savings measure for the government and funded risk reduction internally to ensure a seamless insertion into the G/ATOR system.

“We are continuing to look at future technology insertions to continue providing the best capability out there to our warfighters at an affordable cost.”

The nine additional systems, as well as all the subsequent G/ATOR systems will feature advanced Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology, which will save around $2m in lifecycle costs per system for the USMC.

GaN technology offers a range of benefits, such as lower input power needs, higher efficiency and higher output power, which can enhance the capability of threat detection and tracking ranges for G/ATOR.

The highly mobile multi-mission radar system AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is designed to provide air surveillance, weapon cueing, counter-fire target acquisition and air traffic control capabilities, while ensuring the safety of marines across the world.

Northrop Grumman is also under contract to develop and validate high-performance, short and medium-range radars for additional US Department of Defense (DoD) ground and ship-based applications.

Image: An AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR ground/air task oriented radar. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation.