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During a two-day event on the 14th/15th. In February at Thales in Hengelo and in the barracks almost 90 km away in 't Harde, Thales handed over the first multi-mission radar Ground Master GM200 MM/C to the Koninklije Landmacht. Thales describes the event as the icing on the cake of the long-standing collaboration between the Dutch Ministry of Defense, the Royal Netherlands Army and Thales in the development of the compact multi-mission radar, which began 14 years ago.

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The Dutch Army celebrated the handover of the first multi-mission radar Ground Master GM200 MM /C with a two-day event in front of numerous guests. (Photo: Thales)

“It is very special to have you all here because it reflects the special circumstances we find ourselves in,” said Geert van der Molen, Vice President Sales Management Thales Nederland. “The radar system was developed in close collaboration with experts from the Dutch Army, who brought the necessary operational experience to the development,” continued van der Molen.

In the compact version (/C) all components are installed on a container support frame. According to Thales, this offers high mobility, very short installation times and easy transport. The Netherlands has designated Scania Gryphus trucks for transport. According to the data sheet, the system is ready for use in less than five minutes after flowing into position. When questioned, Thales said it would take less than a minute.

The programmable AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Radar) radar is flexible and allows the introduction of new capabilities to meet customer needs without major overhaul or maintenance times, writes Thales. This makes the system future-proof for changing requirements due to developments in military operations and threats. The software-based digital radar concept enables flexible waveform generation that instantly adapts to specific transmissions, resulting in highly optimized performance for both rotating and fixed modes. The gallium nitride (GaN)-based transmitters/receivers enable the detection of targets in the range range from less than 500 meters to over 400 km. The antenna is prepared for evaluating IFF signals from the latest Mode 5 and Mode S modes.

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The GM200 MM /C can be operated on a truck and is ready for operation within a minute of reaching the site. (Photo: Thales)

According to Thales, the GM200 MM supports a wide range of missions, including simultaneous weapons detection and counter battery radar, air surveillance and air defense. Thales cites unmanned aerial vehicles (including classification), rockets, artillery and mortar shells (RAM), missiles and aircraft as possible targets that can be automatically discovered and tracked.

After the device and the production facilities were presented, the GM200 MM/C was handed over to the armed forces. The following day, the troops demonstrated the device in operational scenarios, including live firing.

The Netherlands has ordered nine GM200 MM/Cs, six of which are intended for fire support in the Fire Support Command and three for the Ground-Based Air Defense Command. In addition, Thales Nederland will also supply the radar to Norway, Denmark and Lithuania, which have already signed contracts with Thales. A total of 27 GM200 /C have been ordered so far.

Gerhard Heiming