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This paper describes an S-band vircator system with electron beam premodulation, built on the base of the MARINA compact high-voltage pulser with inductive energy storage. The peak microwave output was ∼1 GW with ∼5% power efficiency and 50-ns full-width at half-maximum. The microwave frequency was constant during the pulse as determined by the resonator. Substantial spontaneous shortening of the microwave pulse was observed. Possible mechanisms for this phenomenon are discussed and supported by three-dimensional KARAT simulations.