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Gerhard Heiming

The Bundeswehr’s forthcoming Tactical Air Defence System (TLVS) will have a medium range sensor intended for both airspace surveillance and fire control, especially in conjunction with the IRIS-T SL secondary missile. This is in addition to a long-range sensor for airspace surveillance and a fire control radar incorporated into the system, for which the Bundeswehr is currently negotiating a procurement contract with TLVS GmbH.

According to an announcement made on the 18th May 2020, Thales Deutschland has offered TLVS GmbH the GROUND MASTER 200 Multi Mission Compact (GM200 MM/C) radar system as a medium range sensor. This S-band radar is based on modern Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology with gallium nitride elements, permiting  rotating and stationary operating modes with high flexibility and data repetition rates of less than one second. The range for detecting small aerial targets is more than 130km and the instrumented range is up to 400km.

Easily portable

The design of the GM200 MM/C fully reflects the system requirements of TLVS in terms of deployment, networking (“plug-and-fight”), transport and mobility. The pallet with the GM200 MM/C, power generator and cooling system represents an autonomous system and can also be operated without a vehicle, while due to its compact design and low weight, the system can be transported on trucks or as air freight. With an electronically stabilised antenna, the system can be quickly put into operation at the place of operation and during decommissioning, the required time of five minutes is significantly undercut because no hydraulic supports need to be retracted.

The GM200 MM/C belongs to the S-band radar platform family from Thales with the modular design, the use of AESA technology and the digitalisation of the fully programmable radar opening up considerable growth potential. A first prototype of the GM200 MM/C has been available for testing purposes since 2016 while in November 2019, the Netherlands signed a series contract for nine ground-based air defence systems for which series production has started. The GM200 MM/C is suitable for other Air Force applications such as the Modular, Automatic and Network capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS). According to Thales, the GM200 could be integrated on protected vehicles such as DINGO or BOXER and is also air-transportable with C-130J. Last but not least, the equipment with GM200 would be a further step for the German-Dutch cooperation in ground based air defence.