French aerospace company Thales used the first day of the 2017 Paris Air Show to unveil its Ground Fire Family, the latest generation of multifunction ground radar. The fully digital radar system will be able to simultaneously carry out air defense and surveillance missions, while offering unprecedented levels of performance. Air and defense surveillance includes anti-ballistic missiles that will be capable of conducting missile launches from the Aster Family in hostile environments and conditions like clutter, rain, and jamming.
“The latest generation multifunction radar systems by Thales offer an unprecedented level of performance, which makes them unique on the market,” says Thales Senior Vice President for surface radar activities Serge Adrian. “Their multi-mission and multi-application capabilities, as well as their modular adaptability provide our armed forces and national territories with enhanced protection.”
Ground Fire versions will be able to simultaneously detect and track a broad range of targets such as ballistic missiles, with continuous 360-degree coverage in azimuth, 90-degree coverage in elevation, and a range of 400km (248 miles). Ground Fire Family is very compact, mobile, transportable, and can be deployed in under 15 minutes. Its range system includes a mobile truck-mounted antenna that’s capable of operating on any type of ground surface.
The Ground Fire Family is identical to the Sea Fire Family in that both radar systems are based on the principle of modular, scalable architecture. The modules making up the antenna for the transmitter/receiver will be identical and interchangeable to facilitate series production and maintenance operations. It’s also possible to adapt the number of modules to modify the strength of the radar based on the user’s needs.
“Air Forces today are confronted with major changes in the type of threats they face, as well as in their environment,” Thales states in a press release. “Targets can be very slow or extremely fast-moving, furtive and maneuvering. In addition, military personnel often face very challenging interference conditions. Consequently, they require a radar that allows them to perform all the missions they are expected to operate. The Ground Fire Family meets this requirement perfectly, since it offers an unprecedented level of performance for air and defense surveillance, including anti-ballistic missiles with a capacity to conduct missiles from the Aster Family in hostile environments.”
Thales was successful in implementing and defining efficient industrial resources by integrating digital technologies into the core of its production processes. This enables the company to offer highly innovative products at every level, be it technical, industrial, logistical, or operational.