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Paris Air Show 2023: Estonia selects Thales long-range radar to bolster air surveillance

The GM400α software-defined 3D air surveillance radar has an update rate of 6 seconds and an elevation coverage of up to 40°. (Thales)

Estonia has selected the Ground Master 400 Alpha (GM400α) long-range radar to enhance its air surveillance.

A total of two GM400α radars, developed by Thales, will be procured by the Estonian Centre for Defence Investment (ECDI) as part of the Medium Range Radar 2023 project (MRR 2023), the company announced at the Paris Air Show 2023, held from 19 to 25 June.

An ECDI announcement noted that the radars would be delivered between 2024 and 2025, with one system being installed in the most northeastern part of the country (Ida-Viru County) and the other on the island of Hiiumaa.

The GM400α systems will complement the two GM400 radars currently in service in Estonia that were acquired in 2009.

The GM400α is designed as a highly mobile radar that can be deployed in just 30 minutes, enabled by a foldable antenna, and transported in a Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. By integrating Doppler waveforms, the radar has the ability to detect objects of interest at very low altitude, such as tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), Yves Descourvieres, the head of product management at Thales, told Janes .

The radar has five times more processing power and a 10% greater instrumented range (515 km) compared with the GM400, enabled by an upgraded radar processor and “advanced” detection algorithms.

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