US Marine Corps Deploys Radar to Support NATO Air Policing Missions
US Marine Corps Deploys Radar to Support NATO Air Policing Missions

US Marine Corps Deploys Radar to Support NATO Air Policing Missions

The United States Marine Corps has deployed one of its units along with AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task-Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) to Lithuania for the first time to support NATO’s enduring Air Policing mission. This unit provides multi-domain command and control, air defence, air traffic control, radar surveillance, and communications support. The G/ATOR allows Marines to conduct air surveillance and air domain awareness in support of NATO operations. The United States Marine Corps unit deployed in support of Norwegian-led Exercise Cold Response 22 before repositioning to Lithuania.

“This deployment highlights the expeditionary character of our Marines and the command and control systems they employ such as the AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR. With little notice and a light footprint we were able to seamlessly move from training in an arctic, maritime environment to the Baltics; reassuring allies and immediately contributing to USAFE and NATO operations,” said Colonel Michael McCarthy, commanding officer of the deployed unit.

The United States Marine Corps has deployed one of its units along with an AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) to Lithuania for the first time to support NATO’s enduring Air Policing mission. (Photo by United States Marine Corps)

This multi-mission air surveillance system can detect, identify and track airborne threats common to combat environments. These include cruise missiles, aircraft and remotely piloted vehicles, as well as rocket, artillery and mortar fire. They are a command and control unit, which provides multi-domain command and control, air defense, air traffic control, radar surveillance, and communications support. The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is the Marine Corps’ newest medium-range multi-role radar. The long-range, high-performance AN/TPS-80 replaces five of the Marine Corps’ single-mission radars with one multi-mission system, reducing cost and complexity while streamlining training.

Northrop Grumman’s solution provides total surveillance for air and missile defense, as well as air traffic control. AN/TPS-80 also cues air defense weapons to destroy airborne threats and determines launch points of hostile fire for counterstrikes. This mission capability is made possible within a secure and scalable open systems architecture. This means AN/TPS-80 can more easily and affordably introduce new hardware, software and mission capabilities compared to old equipment. Saab is subcontracted by Northrop Grumman Corporation and has delivered major subsystems and assemblies as well as software since Lot1 and has been part of the development since originally contracted in 2007.