Thales has launched an airborne surveillance radar called AirMaster C that can be used by fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for target detection.

The new radar system is equipped with an ultra-compact, programmable 2D active antenna based on SiGe (silicon-germanium) technology.

According to the company, the SiGe technology is more energy-efficient compared to other technologies used for AESA radars, as well as enables the radar to cool down.

The radar is capable of simultaneous short-range and long-range detection and comes with multi-polarisation capabilities that allow the device to choose optimal settings to optimise detection performance.

Overall, housed in a single unit design, the radar system weighs less than 20kg.

AirMaster C can be used for land, air and maritime surveillance missions. Its autonomous sensors and self-learning functionality enable it to adapt to different uses, terrains and environments.

The device can also be used for navigation support leveraging its 2D navigation and weather modes.

Currently, Thales is working with Airbus Helicopters to carry out preliminary integration studies of AirMaster C with the Guépard helicopter, following the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) notification.

Thales Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) vice-president Hervé Hamy said: “We’re proud to present the latest addition to the Thales family of airborne surveillance radars, the AirMaster C, which meets the full range of current and future operational requirements.

“With this new product, Thales offers an optimised surveillance solution for a broader array of platform types and operators, ensuring they benefit from the highest levels of mission performance as they face the new challenges ahead.”