Estonia continues its commitment to safeguarding its airspace by contracting Thales to supply two Ground Master 400 Alpha radars.

The move is part of the Medium Range Radar 2023 project initiated by the Estonian Center for Defence Investment to bolster the country’s air surveillance capabilities.

A future-ready solution for Estonia

The Ground Master 400 Alpha radar is equipped with technology that offers performance and situational awareness. Its advanced 3D capabilities enable precision detection and tracking of air threats, even at low altitudes. The radar boasts a range of up to 515 km and can detect slow-moving unmanned aerial vehicles, ensuring airspace protection.

Maintaining an up-to-date recognized air picture has become increasingly challenging with the resurgence of geostrategic confrontations and the evolving nature of conflicts.

The latest addition to the Ground Master radar family, the GM400 Alpha, integrates GaN technology and digital architecture, enhancing its performance. This radar system offers five times more processing power and a 10% increase in instrumented range compared to previous models.

Moreover, the GM400 Alpha is prepared for advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, making it a future-ready solution for Estonia’s airspace surveillance needs.

“Combat-proven partner for air surveillance”

Estonia has a long-standing relationship with Thales, having procured the first GM400 radars in 2009 for the MRR2010 project, followed by mid-life upgrades in 2022. The radar’s compact design, housed in a 20ft container with built-in lifting systems, enables quick redeployment.

Christophe Salomon, Executive Vice President of Thales Land and Air Systems, stated, “Today, Thales is supporting 27 nations around the world, and the Ground Master radar family has proven itself as a reliable and combat-proven partner for air surveillance.”

According to GlobalData’s “The Land-Based Military Radar Market 2019–2029” report, Thales is to be the leading supplier in the European land-based military radar Market.

Priit Soosaar, Strategic Category Manager (C4I, Cyber & Radars) at the Estonian Centre for Defence Investments, expressed satisfaction with the collaboration, stating, “In the current market situation, we found this to be an economically advantageous solution with timely deliveries, ensuring a high-quality air picture on NATO’s eastern flank.”

Successful relationships 

The contract between Thales and Estonia is a testament to the successful relationship between the two entities.

Thales recorded a 9.4% ‘organic’ increase in sales in Q1 of FY23. The company has attributed this growth to strong dynamics and mature markets in different regions, especially Europe and North America.

From secure communication systems to advanced radar technologies, Thales is trusted by nations worldwide for its critical infrastructure and mission-critical systems.

Various nations have added the Thales GM400 radar to their military inventory in previous years, the most recent being Indonesia this month. Other noticeable countries to have procured the radar include the Kazakhstani Air Force, and the Royal Moroccan Air Force received a Thales GM400 radar in 2021.