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Home : Media : News
NEWS | Aug. 3, 2017

Marine Corps successfully tests G/ATOR system at Wallops Island

By Surface Combat Systems Center, Wallops Island

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. - The Navy's Surface Combat Systems Center (SCSC) supported live developmental testing of the U.S. Marine Corps Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) Block 1 capability from April 10 to June 21.  

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. 

"I'm very pleased that SCSC was able to be a part of this extremely important and successful military testing," said Navy Commander Jeffrey Lock, commanding officer, Surface Combat Systems Center.   

The system will provide Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commanders with a highly 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.  G/ATOR's flexibility and multi-role capability, provided in follow-on blocks,will provide the MAGTF commanders with the ability to increase coverage of the assigned air defense sectors that adjoin maritime air defense and contiguous surveillance areas, reducing vulnerability gaps in the landward sector for naval forces operating in the world's littoral regions.

The unit tested was the first G/ATOR low-rate initial production (LRIP) system delivered to the USMC in February. Testing of G/ATOR GB1 during DT1C focused on validating the LRIP requirements in order to support a limited early fielding decision.  This first portion of DT1C testing occurred at SCSC, Wallops Island, with follow-on testing scheduled to take place at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point and MCAS Yuma.  

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. 

"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," said Nathan Struss, SCSC operations and planning specialist. 

For more information on the (G/ATOR AN/TPS-80) please visit the Marine Corps Concepts and Program website at:

Navy's Surface Combat Systems Center (SCSC) in Wallops Island, Va., is a Naval Sea Systems Command field activity.  Its mission is to provide live and simulated integrated warfare capabilities in a net-centric, maritime environment to develop, test, evaluate and conduct fleet operations and training for the warfighter.