To enhance their air surveillance and defence capabilities, Denmark and the Netherlands have inked an agreement with Thales to acquire advanced GM200 radars.

In a development that shows the growing importance of modern radar technology in defence, the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation (DALO) has signed an agreement with the Netherlands Defence procurement agency COMMIT (Commando Materieel en IT) for the acquisition of five Thales Ground Master 200 Multi-Mission Compact radars (GM200 MM/C).

These radar systems have been acquired to improve Denmark’s air surveillance and defence capabilities.

Traditionally, the role of radar systems in defence has been to detect and track conventional aircraft and missiles. However, in today’s evolving threat landscape, this also includes the rise of autonomous unmanned vehicles (UAVs) and drones.

The system leverages new-generation 4D AESA technology, providing simultaneous detection, tracking, and classification of threats, including drones. This technology provides radar operators with more time to gather information about incoming threats, thereby enabling quicker responses.

Furthermore, the GM200 MM/C’s design allows easy deployment, making it suitable for various operational scenarios such as fixed installations or high mobility platforms. It’s also equipped with software-defined radar technology, ensuring the radar can adapt to handle a spectrum of threats.

The GM200 MM/C provides situational awareness, fire support, and weapon location capabilities. These attributes will bolster Denmark’s air surveillance and air defence missions, providing the Danish Air Force with an advantage in protecting their airspace.

Thales also secured a contract to supply the same air defence system to the Ukrainian Armed Forces to bolster Ukraine’s defence against Russian forces. Thales’ GM200 radar system has provided Ukrainian ground forces with the ability to counter various airborne threats, including cruise missiles, drones, helicopters, and combat aircraft.

Lieutenant General Kim Jesper Jørgensen, the chief of DALO, expressed his satisfaction with the acquisition, “I am very happy that we are now acquiring new mobile radars for airspace surveillance. This is an advanced capability that the Armed Forces badly need, not least in light of the current serious political security situation“.

In addition to enhancing Denmark’s defence, the collaboration with the Netherlands strengthens their bilateral defence ties and showcases the advantages of cooperation among smaller European countries. 

Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales Netherlands, applauded the Government-to-Government contract, “This Government-to-Government contract will provide the Danish Air Force and the Dutch Armed Forces with a common radar platform for future collaboration. Thales contributes to the safety and security of military personnel and high-value assets in European NATO countries and is proud to support nations in their mission for air sovereignty.”

In other international procurements for the tactical air surveillance and weapon co-ordinating radar systems, the UAE Armed Forces also awarded Thales a contract worth €300m ($315m) for 17 Ground Master 200 (GM200) radars.