The Estonian Air Force has formally inducted the first ThalesRaytheonSystems-supplied Ground Master 400 (GM 400) long-range air defence radar system into operational service during a ceremony on Muhu island, in Estonia.
Representing the first of two radars ordered by Estonia’s Air Force and one of the 14 jointly ordered by Finland and Estonia, the radar will now be used in support of the country’s role in the Nato air defence infrastructure.
Estonian Defence Ministry Defence Investments undersecretary Ingvar Pärnamäe said the commissioning of GM 400 radar marks a critical milestone in the country’s air defence programme and is scheduled to provide several operational benefits.
ThalesRaytheonSystems CEO Philippe Duhamel said: "The new radar system will bring the country an operational long-range air surveillance capability and improved detection performance against a broad array of modern threats."
The radars were ordered along with Sisu ETP 8×8 and A2045 4×4 military trucks to serve as platforms by the Estonian Defence Ministry in March 2009.
Designed for fixed-site operation under a radome at the Muhu base, the Estonian GM 400 radar is also capable of deploying in the field in less than two hours, while mounted in a tactical, truck-mounted configuration with an independent power supply.
Introduced in 2008, GM 406 is a fully digital 3D air defence radar designed to safeguard vital military assets and expeditionary forces through detection of a wide range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), missiles, mortars and rockets from very low to high altitudes.
The radar provides enhanced detection performance, high operational availability and mobility, simplified maintenance and increased track accuracy for weapon assignment and is currently operational with Canada, France, Germany, Malaysia and Slovenia.
Image: The Estonian Air Force’s Ground Master 400 long-range air defence radar system. Photo courtesy of Thales.