11 Dec 2014
Originally posted on www.capitalgazette.com. . Just weeks after Northrop Grumman got approval to begin building a new breed of mobile radar systems for the Marine Corps, the Corps has asked the defense contractor in Linthicum to change the operating system.
The Department of Defense announced a $10.2 million contract modification Wednesday to change the operator command and control software on its G/ATOR radar system Microsoft Windows XP to a Defense Information Systems Agency compliant Linux OS.
Ingrid Vaughan, director of the program, said the change would mean greater compatability for laptop computers used to control the system in the future.
In a statement released Friday, she said Microsoft Windows XP is no longer supported by the software developer and the shift to a DOD approved Linux operating system will reduce both the complexity of the operating system and need for future updates.
Northrop Grumman got the go-ahead from the Marines in October to build the first four ground/air task oriented radar systems after years of development, a contract worth $206 million. If fully adopted by the military, the system could be worth $2 billion to the company.
The original proposal issued in 2005 specified that the unit should use Microsoft, but left open the option for the Marines to change it at a later date.
While the G/ATOR units are being assembled in Linthicum, most of the work on the new operating software will be performed in Syracuse, New York.
Northrop Grumman developed G/ATOR as a short- to medium-range radar system that can pick out rockets, artillery, mortars, cruise missiles, unmanned aircraft systems and other targets. It is already testing it for possible shipboard use by the Navy.
Northrop Grumman, with some 7,000 employees in Linthicum, is Anne Arundel County’s largest private employer.