Thales and Aquila have completed the installation, integration and commissioning of radar systems at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar.

Aquila is a joint venture between UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Thales UK.

The companies have worked together to install Thales’ StarNG primary surveillance radar and RSM970S secondary surveillance radar.

The systems will provide surveillance capabilities for Royal Air Force (RAF) Gibraltar and Gibraltar International Airport.

Work has been conducted as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Project Marshall, which aimed to upgrade Air Traffic Management systems.

The new ‘Gate 4’ milestone marks the culmination of the radar testing and customer acceptance phase for this programme.

Thales informed that more than 100 specialists were employed to set up the radar systems at Gibraltar.

With the gradual progress of the project, the companies also deployed a Chinook helicopter to airlift the required equipment to the top of the Rock.

A ‘white spherical giant dome’ has also been installed to cover the radar systems and protect them from extreme weather conditions.

During the commissioning phase, the team gathered a large amount of data to conduct computational analysis to validate the radars’ capability to operate according to the RAF’s requirements.

Collected reports were shared with the MoD for final assessment and approval.

Thales UK regional programme manager Eddie Trott said: “We’re extremely pleased with the delivery and performance of the new primary and secondary radars that will serve Gibraltar for decades to come.”

Following the latest event, the companies will now integrate the radars with Thales TopSky Air Traffic Display systems, which are soon scheduled to be installed in the control tower next to the airport.

The radar systems will then enter into service with the RAF next year.