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Norway to procure new artillery location radars from Thales

Norway will acquire three Thales GM200 MM/C radars (pictured) as part of an ongoing government-to-government agreement with the Netherlands. (Thales)

Norway will acquire three new mobile artillery location radars from Thales under a government-to-government deal with the Netherlands.

The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (FMA) has signed a follow-on contract, valued at NOK460 million (USD45.8 million), with the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) for an additional three Thales Ground Master 200 Multi Mission Compact radars (GM200 MM/C), the FMA announced on 23 November.

The initial contract for five Thales GM200 MM/C radars, with an option for three more systems, was announced in May 2021. The contract was valued at EUR77 million (USD79.6 million), with deliveries scheduled by 2023–24.

In total, eight radars will be delivered to the Norwegian Armed Forces for just over NOK2 billion, with deliveries expected by the end of 2025, the latest announcement said.

Future radar acquisitions from other NATO countries are permissible as part of the Thales Nederland and Dutch DMO agreement. To that end, several NATO countries have expressed an interest, the FMA said.

The GM200 MM/C is part of the Ground Master family of S-band (NATO E-/F-band) (2–4 GHz) 3D air surveillance radars. This variant is a palletised system suited for rapid tactical mobility that is said to be deployable within two minutes. Fully automatic, the radar is suited for counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar (C-RAM), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) detection/classification, artillery counter-battery, and weapon-locating missions. The radar can be used in operation with the Norwegian Army's new Hanwha Defense K9 self-propelled howitzer.

The radar employs a mechanically rotating antenna with a single-face active electronically scanned array (AESA), using gallium nitride transmit/receive modules, which enables ‘ultra-fast' electronic beam-steering and ‘forwardʼ and ‘backwardʼ scanning.

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