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Raytheon Co.’s Affordable Ground Based Radar (AGBR) passed a critical milestone during a recent United States Marine Corps test in support of the goal to field future radar sensors configured in a tactical and highly mobile design for the Marine Expeditionary Forces worldwide. In line with the schedule laid out three years ago, in mid-December 2004 the AGBR Science and Technology concept demonstrator successfully performed air surveillance and tracking of simulated and real airborne targets while rotating at both thirty and sixty revolutions per minute. This achievement validates the concept for a battlefield sensor mounted aboard a HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle). Further AGBR testing and evaluations are underway. The Marines envision eventually fielding multi-purpose radars to perform air surveillance, air defense, ground weapon locating and air traffic control. Currently, those roles are each performed separately by aging legacy radars designed for one single purpose, using technology that is decades old. The USMC has designated this new development program as G/ATOR (Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar); the award of which is anticipated sometime in 2005, following a full and open industry competition. Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the USMC’s AGBR contract was awarded in 2002 to Raytheon and is being executed at the Integrated Defense System’s Surveillance and Sensors Center, located in Sudbury, MA. To date, the US Marine Corps Systems Command, located at Quantico Marine Base, VA, has observed more than fifty percent of the planned AGBR prototype tests being conducted by Raytheon. “The results of these tests will furnish the Marine Corps additional insights into the path ahead, validate the concept for highly mobile multi-purpose radars for the future Marine Expeditionary Forces, and in turn, support the Marines’ milestone decision to move forward with the G/ATOR program,” explained Robert Pool, Raytheon’s program manager. “Raytheon is looking forward to completion of the remaining AGBR tests and the opportunity to compete for the follow-on G/ATOR development program.”
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