Dutch Army receives first GM200 MM/C mobile radar system from Thales

Dutch Army receives first GM200 MM/C mobile radar system from Thales

On February 15, 2024, the Dutch Armed Forces officially incorporated the first Thales-manufactured Ground Master 200 Multi Mission/Compact (GM200 MM/C) mobile radar system into their defense infrastructure. This acquisition was showcased during an event held over two days, which included a demonstration at the Artillery Shooting Camp near ‘t Harde, in the province of Gelderland.

The Netherlands plans to procure a minimum of nine GM200 MM/C mobile radar systems, with a distribution set such that six will be assigned to the Fire Support Command and three to the Ground Air Defense Command. The timeline provided indicates that all systems are expected to be operational by the end of 2025, with the Fire Support Command anticipated to operationalize the first system by mid-2024 after certain adjustments. Training for the first military operators of the systems has been conducted by Thales.

The introduction of the GM200 MM/C in the Netherlands corresponds with a global pattern, as countries such as Armenia, Denmark, Lithuania, Moldavia, Norway, and Ukraine have either received or are planning to receive variants of the GM200 radar system. This trend, combined with other purchases from the Ground Master series, reflects a broader international interest in the radar systems produced by Thales.

The GM200 MM/C, developed by Thales, is utilized primarily for air surveillance and as a component within air defense systems. It is noted for its adaptability and mobility, housed within a 20″ container frame for easy deployment. This design facilitates its placement on various terrains and its mounting on vehicles, such as the Scania Gryphus used by the Dutch Army, enabling swift repositioning to meet operational requirements.

Part of the Thales 4D AESA radar family, the GM200 MM/C encompasses a range of modules including NS50, NS100, and NS200, among others. As a software-defined system, it is capable of undergoing updates to accommodate changing defense needs over time. The radar is detailed as having the capacity to identify and monitor a variety of threats including rockets, artillery, mortars, missiles, aircraft, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), operating continuously under various conditions, including those where GPS and electronic warfare capabilities are compromised.

Features of the GM200 MM/C extend to cyber resilience and the ability to interface with NATO secret networks, aiming for secure data transmission. Its radar technology includes a dual-axis multi-beam Active Electronic Scanning Array (AESA), designed to enhance fire support and situational awareness through improved detection, tracking, and classification capabilities.

The system’s flexibility is underscored by its software-defined radar technology, enabling the generation of varied waveforms to meet distinct transmission requirements and perform efficiently in different modes. The GM200 MM/C’s design facilitates transportation by various means and allows for remote operation, reducing the need for direct personnel involvement. It operates using an AESA antenna and GaN transmitter technology, covering a significant range with the capability to track targets at various altitudes. It operates within the S-band frequency and incorporates an integrated IFF antenna supporting modes 5 and S. The system’s operational reliability is noted by a Mean Time Between Critical Failures (MTBCF) of over 2,900 hours.

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