Threats are evolving, technology is advancing, and budgets are tightening. The GM200 radar demonstrates how Thales are rethinking how forces can keep a sustainable strategic advantage.

Force readiness has always been about expecting the unexpected. And today, the range of situations forces might face are broader than ever. So being prepared means being flexible: in skills, tactics ­– and particularly the critical equipment that forces rely on.

This is especially true for tracking airborne threats – which these days could range from fast-moving long range cruise missiles, to agile helicopters, to low-flying slow-moving drones.

And while new technologies are being developed all the time, deciding the right time to make an investment is always a tough call: do you commit now to platform or solution that will be in service for the next 20-30 years? Or to wait, to see what newer technologies – and threats – are emerging? Nobody wants to face decisive moments with obsolete kit.

Thales’s new generation of ‘digital-first’ platforms bring a new approach. The Ground Master 200 is one example of solutions that solve this dilemma and offer the best of all worlds:

First, its technology based on a combat-proven platform that’s served successfully around the world for over a decade – with over 100 radars serving in around 20 countries in every type of terrain, from hot and humid to sandy and freezing. So the nuts and bolts stuff – the hydraulics, cooling systems and mechanics have proved themselves time and again. It’s innovation built on a rock-solid foundation.

Second, it’s best-in-class technology. By bringing together world-leading expertise in radars, sensors and digital, Thales have improved on an already outstanding piece of kit. The GM200 capable of identifying and tracking the fullest possible range of threats: high and low altitude, fast and slow-moving, from cruise missiles and jet fighters to UAVs and RAM shells. In particular, it is highly effective at identifying and tracking drones – even in highly ‘cluttered’ environments, and even when multiple drones ‘swarm’ together. It’s dual-axis multi-beam can analyse between 16 and 30 separate beams, which means its better able to isolate targets from background, is able to have more ‘time on target’ to build up a more accurate picture, and is capable of tracking multiple targets simultaneously.

And third – it’s performance will keep getting better. The radar’s capabilities are fully digital – which means as Thales continue to innovate and extend what the GM200 is capable of doing, it will be easy to simply upgrade the capabilities.

Previously, ‘upgrading’ kit was often more akin to ‘patching it up’ and ‘keeping it in service’ as parts wore out. Now, it will be possible to have the best radar available today – and for it to be an even better radar tomorrow.

This ‘upgradeability’ is especially critical as we move ever closer to the ‘connected battlefield’ and an ‘Internet of Battlefield Things’ – where platforms will be able to exchange data and information directly with each other, and AI will offer new possibilities in terms of logistics, strategy and engaging with the enemy. By being fully digital, platforms like the GM200 will be able to fully integrate into these systems.

Only Thales can offer this unique combination of battle-proven, cutting-edge and future-proofed capability – so that forces are best equipped to face their decisive moments today, and tomorrow.

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