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Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System (ATARS)

Primary Purpose Provides an organic aerial reconnaissance

platform to Marine Expeditionary Force and

subordinate commanders.

Sub-Functions Collect and record data-link digital

Electro-optical (EO), Infrared (IR) and Synthetic

Aperture Radar (HSAR) imagery in a near

real-time basis. Provides day, night and all

weather capabilities.

Equipment Requirements Used in Lot XIV and up of the F/A-18D. Majority

of equipment housed within 20mm gun space.

Requires RUG II (radar upgrade) modifications to

the APG-73 radar for SAR capability. Data link

pod is required on station 5.

Connectivity Requirements To use the ATARS data-link, the ground based

Navy-Joint Service Image Process System

(N-JSIPS), JSIPS, or Tactical Exploitation Group

(TEG) will be required. The wiring for the

data-link pod will reside solely on station 5 of

the aircraft.

Challenges still exist in transferring large

image files (up to 1 gigabyte) from squadron

locations to the rest of the MAGTF.

Crypto Requirements To be determined.

Normal Locations Fixed-Wing Marine Aircraft Groups (MAG) within

the Marine Aircraft Wings (MAW).

Information Managed ATARS captures and disseminates (via data link or

tape) EO, IR, and SAR imagery to TEG for


Products Created ATARS, working in conjunction with ground- based

systems, creates digitally exploitable imagery.

The Squadron Ground Station (SGS) or Tactical

Exploitation Group (TEG) can produce digital

imagery in a variety of formats (NITF, TIFF,

JPEG, etc.) on either 8mm tape, CD-R, or 19mm


Lead Service/Contractor United States Navy/Lockheed.

Current Fielding Status Basic ATARS and SGS is IOC. FOC will not be

accomplished for two years. Data link and TEG

follow-on test and evaluation (FOT&E) scheduled

for Spring 2001.

Known Problems Tape recorders and tapes used in the F/A-18 have

a high failure rate.

DIICOE Compliance Rating Not rated.

Point of Contact Captains Burton and Kelly (VX-9)

Program Office: Mr Brian Scalpino

Updated by Capt V. J. Bunch Sr, USMC, CCSC-01.


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