The system includes new performance upgrades that will extend range and add advanced missile detection capabilities.
G/ATOR is a multi-mission aerial surveillance system that can detect, identify and track air threats common in combat environments: including cruise missiles, aircraft and remotely piloted vehicles as well as rockets, artillery and mortars.
The next-generation system replaces five of the US Marine Corps’ single-mission radars as a multi-mission system. The Marines will use the modified extended-range systems after Northrop Grumman completes full-scale production of the previous batch of G/ATOR systems.
Does G/ATOR meet Marine Corps requirements?
Melissa Johnson, Director of Advanced Land Sensors at Northrop Grumman, commented on the G/ATOR modification, stating, “We are committed to surpassing modern adversary threat systems for partner and allied forces with advanced surveillance and fire control capability.”
This five-in-one system provides the end user with a more portable, less expensive and feature-enhanced solution.
The US Marine Corps lays out its requirements for this Force Design 2030which outlines the service’s modernization requirements and provides a framework for its priorities each month.
Inside June updatethe service clarified that “we emphasize resilience, the future of contested logistics, maritime aviation, CJADC2 [Combined Joint All-Domain Command and Control]and persistent feeling’.
As the war in Ukraine demonstrates the importance of air defense in both the air and land domains as a way to protect national infrastructure and front-line personnel from indiscriminate Russian strikes, G/ATOR’s multi-mission solution fits well with the Marine Corps. Priorities CJADC2.
However, the latest G/ATOR iteration still has a way to go to maintain its competitive edge in the air defense market.
The need to adopt emerging military technologies
Northrop Grumman must look further ahead to new advanced emerging technologies being designed and tested in response to the US government’s desire for cutting-edge military capabilities that keep the US military ahead of the curve in the tense geopolitical environment.
The Marine Corps is also prioritizing: “a roadmap for a future ground-based air defense weapon system that would incorporate lasers, high-power microwave and other capabilities to augment the MAGTF [marine air-ground task force] survival”.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) has already issued two contracts in late May for the adoption of directed energy weapon (DEW) systems for air defense and a commitment to fund pulsed laser research.
GlobalData intelligence tells us that global DEW spending was valued at $4.1 billion in 2020. The increasing integration of DEWs with land, air and sea warfare platforms, coupled with increasing investment in research and development activities, are key drivers for this market.
In terms of comparative total spending, the US holds the largest share globally, with a market share of 41.6% ($1.5 billion), followed by China and France with a share of 14.8% ($534 million) and 13.9% ($501 million). , respectively.
Currently, Northrop Grumman is adapting to this emerging market. prime is testing advanced targeting and tracking using machine learning and modular architectures among other issues in its laser solutions.
Northrop Grumman tested the Laser Weapon System Demonstrator (LWSD) at USS Portland in December 2021, which was developed in collaboration with the Office of Naval Research.
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