New French radar processes information five times faster

PARIS, ($1=0.88 Euros) – Bringing together all of the Air & Space [AAE] airspace detection and surveillance resources, the Aerospace Operations Command and Control System [SCCOA] is evolving incrementally. Currently, this program is in its phase 4.2, which provides for the acquisition of new fixed and tactical 3D radars, a 3rd ACCS [Air Command and Control System, note], 2D approach radars, as well as the “Large Network Adapted to Space Watch” [GRAVES] renovation, which enables space debris to be monitored as well as foreign observation and listening satellites operating at an altitude of between 400 and 1,000 km.

New French radar processes information five times faster
Photo credit: Thales

In 2022, phase 5 of the SCCOA program should be launched, with an envelope of 863 million euros in commitment authorizations. It will therefore be a question of modernizing the detection capabilities at high and very low altitudes, which are based in part on Thales Ground Master 406 [or GM 406], which has a range of 450 km.

In the meantime, Thales has just unveiled a new radar with significantly improved performance compared to that displayed by its previous models in the GM400 range.

Indeed, called Ground Master 400 Alpha, this radar has five times the processing power, an instrumented range of more than 10% [515 km], and “advanced” artificial intelligence algorithms.

Long-range 3D radar, the GM400 Alpha “offers the highest update rate on the market for all surveillance missions” and thanks to “its great mobility, high availability, ease of upgrade and integration transparent”, it will be for the armed forces a “precious tool for obtaining a tactical advantage, by detecting all types of threats early, thus offering precious minutes for decision-making and action,” assures the industrialist.

The operation of this GM400 Alpha is based on digital superimposed beam technology, which allows it to detect targets “ranging from jets and fast missiles to helicopters and hovering drones”. Above all, Thales insists on its ability to detect and pursue the threat of “tactical drones flying close to the ground”, while doing the same, simultaneously, for fighter-bombers operating at “higher altitudes”.

“By applying the latest processing technology, 5 times more powerful, as well as advanced detection algorithms, the radar can process large amounts of complex data. The result is an immediate improvement in detection range, up to 515 km or 278 NM, which represents an increase in the coverage area of ​​over 20% compared to the GM400, with no change in the energy required by the transmitting or receiving parts of the radar”, details Thales, which does not fail to underline the integration of “improved cybersecurity functions ”.

According to Serge Adrian, head of “Surface radar” activities at Thales, some GM400 users have already “started an upgrade process” to the “Alpha” version.

“Already supporting 17 nations around the world, the Ground Master 400 radar family is a trusted and proven partner for aerial surveillance. The software design and processing architecture of the GM400 Alpha make it easy to upgrade existing GM400 systems in the field, ensuring radar resiliency in the face of emerging threats,” said Adrian.

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