AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar

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AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar
Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) prototype at Quantico Marine Base, September 2010
Country of originUnited States
Introduced2018 (Planned)
TypeShort/Medium Range Multi-Role Radar System
Frequency2–4 GHz
Other NamesG/ATOR

The AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) is the United States Marine Corps next generation Air Surveillance/Air Defense and Air Traffic Control (ATC) Radar. The mobile active electronically scanned array radar system is currently being developed by Northrop Grumman and was expected to reach initial operating capability in August 2016.[1]

Mission and Description[edit]

The Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) is a single materiel solution for the mobile Multi-Role Radar System and Ground Weapons Locating Radar (GWLR) requirements. It is a three-dimensional, short/medium range multi-role radar designed to detect unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, air breathing targets, rockets, artillery, and mortars. G/ATOR satisfies the warfighter's expeditionary needs across the Marine Air-Ground Task Force spectrum replacing five legacy radar systems with a single solution.[1][2] The five Marine Corps legacy radar systems being replaced by this multi-function capability include: the AN/TPS-63 (air defense), AN/TPS-73 (air-traffic control), AN/MPQ-62 (short range air defense), AN/TPQ-46 (counter-fire target acquisition) and UPS-3 (target tracking).[3] Additionally, it will augment the AN/TPS-59 long-range radar.[4]

The Program Executive Office (PEO), Land Systems Marine Corps is executing the G/ATOR program as an evolutionary acquisition program consisting of four capabilities, referred to as blocks.[1][4]

  • Block 1 will complete the primary material system acquisition and can support the short-range air defense and air surveillance mission, as well as provide an Air Defense/Surveillance Radar (AD/SR) capability to the MAGTF Commander.
  • Block 2 will include software to perform the missions of ground counter-battery/fire control (Ground Locating Weapons Radar).
  • Block 3 capabilities are not currently defined or resourced, and have been deferred indefinitely.
  • Block 4 will provide air traffic control capabilities (Expeditionary Airport Surveillance Radar).
G/ATOR System Configuration

G/ATOR provides real-time radar measurement data to the Tactical Air Operations Module, Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S), Composite Tracking Network, and Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System.[5]

The G/ATOR baseline system configuration consists of three subsystems:[4]

  • Communications Equipment Group (CEG). The CEG provides the ability to communicate with and control the radar and is mounted on a High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle.
  • Radar Equipment Group (REG). The REG consists of the phased-array radar mounted on an integrated trailer. The trailer is towed by the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement (MTVR).
  • Power Equipment Group (PEG). The PEG includes a 60-kilowatt generator and associated power cables mounted on a pallet. The generator pallet is carried by the MTVR.


Development of the G/ATOR began in September 2005 when the Marine Corps awarded a $7.9 million contract to Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. Initial design requirements required planning for short-range air surveillance, counter-battery fire and target acquisition, and sensor networking. The requirement also required Block 1 to allow for incremental implementation of the following blocks without equipment or software redesign.[5]

In 2009, a $14 million cost overrun for the G/ATOR, attributed to requirements creep and increasing cost of scarce materials required in advanced electronic components. In 2012 the Marine Corps and Northrop Grumman began Block 2 development, beginning with upgrading the Block 1 equipment and software for performing GWLR requirements.[5][6]

The G/ATOR program obtained a successful Milestone C decision in March 2014. In October 2014, a 207.3 million dollar low rate initial production (LRIP) contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman for the first lot of four systems.[5][7] In March 2015, another contract worth $113 million was awarded to produce two additional systems to be delivered in October 2017.[6][8]

In September 2015, the Marine Corps awarded Northrop Grumman a 58.7 million dollar contract to incorporate and test the GWLR mode for the G/ATOR.[9]

In September 2016, the Marine Corps awarded Northrop Grumman a contract for nine additional LRIP systems that will incorporate gallium nitride (GaN) technology.[10]

A total of 57 G/ATOR systems are planned for procurement.[1][4]

Main characteristics[edit]

  • Multipurpose Tracking & Surveillance Radar
  • Proven S-band (2–4 GHz), 3D Radar
  • Detects fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, cruise missiles, and UAVs
  • Performs ATC and fire finder roles
  • High mobility, transportability, and reliability
  • The entire system can be airlifted into an operational site by three CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopters or MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, or by a single C-130 transport.
  • The system is required to be set up on-site within 45 minutes.
  • Provides identification of friendly aircraft using a Telephonics UPX-44 IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) integrated with the main radar.


Per the Joint Electronics Type Designation System (JETDS), the nomenclature AN/TPS-80 is thus derived:

  • "AN/" indicating Army/Navy(Marines) -- a system nomenclature derived from the JETDS
  • "T" for 'transportable', indicating it is carried by, but not an integral part of, a vehicle (compare with 'V' for vehicle-mounted)
  • "P" indicating a RADAR
  • "S" is for Detecting, Range and Bearing, Search
  • "80" is the 80'th version of this family of TPS radars

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the U.S. Department of Defense.

  1. ^ a b c d "Selected Acquisition Report (SAR), Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR)". Defense Technical Information Center. Department of Defense. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  2. ^ Gourley, Scott R. (Summer 2012). "Ground-based Air Defense and Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar" (PDF). Program Executive Officer Land Systems. Marine Corps Systems Command. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  3. ^ Burgess, Richard R. (November 2010). "A Radar for All Missions". Seapower. 53 (11): 42–44. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR)" (PDF). The Office of the Director, Operational Test & Evaluation. Director, Operational Test & Evaluation. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Keller, John (October 24, 2014). "After nine years, Marine Corp finally may have full production of G/ATOR radar in sight". Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b Keller, John (March 17, 2015). "Latest order for Marine Corps G/ATOR radar systems brings total number of radars to six". Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine. Retrieved 3 November 2015.
  7. ^ "AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR)". Marine Corps Concepts and Programs. United States Marine Corps. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  8. ^ Withington, Thomas. "AMR Pulse - Radar". Asian Military Review. Retrieved 21 October 2015.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Northrop Grumman Receives Contract to Add Ground Capabilities to AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar". Globe Newswire. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  10. ^ "Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract for Nine GaN G/ATOR Systems". Northrop Grumman. Retrieved 11 October 2016.

External links[edit]