Thales’ radar solutions, including the GM200 MM/C and GM400 Alpha, are helping shape defence strategies worldwide, from bolstering European air defences to strengthening international partnerships beyond Europe’s borders.

The Dutch Army recently procured seven more GM200 MM/C radars from Thales, building on an initial contract signed in 2019.

The Global Military Radar Market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 3.6%, growing from $10.6bn in 2023 to $15.2bn by 2033. Radars have never been so prevalent in defence strategies worldwide. According to GlobalData’s “The Global Military Radar Market Forecast 2023-2033” report, the cumulative market for global expenditure on military radar is valued at $144.9 bn over the forecast period. 

Thales’ Ground Master radar solutions

Thales has developed a range of Ground Master radar systems tailored to various military needs and operational environments.

For modern complex battlefield environments, Thales introduced the Ground Master 200 Multi-Mission (GM200 MM) radar. Available in two versions, the GM200 MM/A and GM200 MM/C, this radar series offers flexibility for medium-range ground-based air defence, air surveillance, counter-battery, weapon locating, and short-range air defence missions. With user-friendly interfaces, easy transportability, and high automation, these radars provide tactical mobility and rapid deployment.

The latest addition to Thales’s Ground Master radar family is the GM400 Alpha, a long-range 3D surveillance radar with features such as increased processing power, extended range of up to 515km, and artificial intelligence capabilities. Built on the field of the GM400 series, the GM400 Alpha radar can detect threats, from jets and missiles to helicopters and tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Its processing technology and detection algorithms enable the analysis of large data sets, improving detection range and reliability.

With these radar systems, Thales aims to provide solutions to meet the evolving needs of military forces worldwide, enhancing their capabilities in air surveillance, threat detection, and situational awareness on the battlefield.

European countries have procured Ground Master radar systems to bolster their air defence capabilities. Germany, Finland, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Lithuania, and Ukraine have all engaged in procurement contracts for various models of the Ground Master radar.

In 2010, Germany awarded a $140m contract for six Ground Master 400 (GM 400) long-range air defence radars.

Finland’s Air Force received the first GM 400 radar in 2013 under a 12-radar contract. Finland’s contract also included upgrading existing radars and supplying two GM 400 radars to Estonia.

France ordered a third Ground Master 406 (GM 406) radar in 2013 to enhance its airspace surveillance capability. This contract included the radar system’s supply, installation, and support. 

The German Air Force commissioned its first GM 400 radar in 2013, marking the beginning of a €100m deal for six radars. Integrated into the German Air Surveillance network, these radars replaced older systems and enhanced air surveillance throughout Germany.

In 2023, Thales signed a contract with Ukraine to provide a complete short-range threat detection and air defence system, including the Ground Master 200 radar. This system aimed to strengthen Ukraine’s defensive capabilities against potential Russian threats. 

Western military aid shifted its focus towards sophisticated ground-based search radars that indicate the direction and range of incoming Russian fires. These ‘counter-battery’ radars can also assist in acquiring targets for Ukrainian artillery.

In November 2023, Denmark and the Netherlands signed an agreement with Thales to acquire five Ground Master 200 radars, showcasing the growing importance of modern radar technology in defence.

Lithuania also fortified its defence in the face of a growing Russian threat with the acquisition of Thales GM200 MM/C radars in 2024. These radars enhanced situational awareness and weapon location capabilities, highlighting the collaborative efforts within NATO to strengthen European defence.

International impact beyond Europe

Beyond Europe, Thales has been engaged in international procurement contracts for its Ground Master radar systems.

In Canada, the National Defence awarded Thales a contract to supply and integrate two Ground Master 400 (GM 400) radars.

Similarly, Kazakhstan’s Air Force signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to procure Ground Master 400 (GM400) long-range air defence radars in 2014. The MoU involves the delivery of 20 radars.