The first of six Ground Master 400 (GM 400) long-range air defence radar systems has entered into service with the German Air Force following successful operational test.
Integrated into the German Air Surveillance network, the GM 400 will provide enhanced air surveillance throughout the centre of Germany, from the North Sea to the Alps. The radar will replace the former Thomson-CSF MPR radars, in service since the 1970s. Mounted on a fixed tower, the radars can be operated either from the radar site or from a remote centre.
On site validation of the second radar is currently in progress at the Lauda-Königshofen (Baden-Württemberg) radar site. The entire set of six radars is planned to be in operation by 2015.
Horst Minning, head of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support, was quoted as saying by Shephard, ‘We are very pleased with the operational entry into service of TRS’ GM 400. It brings a real technology breakthrough with operational benefits like improved tracking, low altitude detection and easy maintenance. Our operators will benefit hugely from these latest technologies in threat detection.’
Philippe Duhamel, CEO, ThalesRaytheonSystems (TRS), added: ‘The excellent level of cooperation between the German administration, the German Air Force, Thales and TRS enabled the achievement of this important milestone in the German radar programme. We look forward to pursuing this fruitful collaboration in the coming years.’
GM 400 radars provide detection of a wide range of targets, from highly manoeuvrable tactical aircraft flying below several hundred feet to unconventional small radar cross-section devices such as UAVs or cruise missiles.