With its radar head rotating at an impressive 40 revolutions per minute, Ground Master 60 provides an impressive sight for visitors to the large and integrated Thales stand at Eurosatory 2016 in Villepinte, Paris, this week.
The latest member of the Ground Master family – a family that already boasts over 100 radars in service in global markets – and described as an “ultra tactical air defence radar”. GM60 is itself already in service, the first contract having been won in 2010, according to Peter Terpstra, Thales Product Line Manager for Military Radars.
With a wide range of components in common with other members of the family, such as its GM200 ‘big brother,’ GM60 offers users a significantly reduced logistics footprint. Commonality of spare or replacement parts, an average time of 2,500 hours between critical failures (which Terpstra maintains is twice the industry standard) and an impressive 30 hours of preventive maintenance per year, GM60 is a robust and reliable system that provides rapid, instant cueing for guns, SHORAD and Extended SHORAD systems on targets at ranges up to 80km.
In addition, Terpstra points out that GM60 is unique in being able to provide these capabilities in a compact and airportable installation weighing only four tonnes. Inserted into a forward operating base by helicopter, for example, GM60 can be brought on line, “from shutdown to a complete air picture,” in only bten minutes.
The shelter-based system has an endurance of over 10 hours on its internal capacity, says Terpstra, and its massive parallel processing capability gives it a true multimission capability. It is particularly effective in drawing targets out from complex ground clutter returns – traditionally a major challenge for tactical radar.