Estonia buys two airborne radars to construct new wind farms

Thalese radar.
Thalese radar. Source: ERR

At the Paris Air Show, the National Center for Defense Investments (ECDI) inked a contract for the purchase of two new Ground Master (GM 403) Alpha anti-aircraft radars for Estonia. The new radars will enable wind farms to be built in areas where they previously would have impossible.

Certain areas will continue to have height restrictions. ECDI's communications and radar category manager Priit Soosaar said that the two radars will be installed so as to minimize the impact of future wind farms on the quality of our air picture.

This is the primary reason for acquiring radars: the new equipment provides a more precise picture of what is happening in Estonian airspace.

Estonia has utilized Ground Master radars since 2009, but they are earlier models. The more recent ones can process data five times faster.

This allows for the addition of many new features. The radar's range has increased from 470 kilometers to 515 kilometers, for example. In addition, the radar's capacity to detect low-flying targets has been improved, according to Yves Descourvières, marketing manager for Thales Ground Master radars.

French defense industry company Thales sold 15 radars at the Paris Air Show alone and nearly a 100 of the most recent Ground Master radars have been sold in total and are in use in 19 countries.

This radar detects fighter aircraft and tactical drones.

It can detect drones with a wingspan of approximately three meters flying at a slower speed. Slow-moving targets are typically difficult to detect. According to Descourvières, this radar is capable of detecting every aircraft within these dimensions.

The manufacturer said that the radar is also dependable and straightforward to maintain. According to Soosaar this results in significant savings for Estonia over the lifetime of the radar.

In addition, the Ground Master radar can be relocated quickly to the desired location. "In 30 minutes the newer model can be functional. No one else can do that with this type of long-range radar," Descourvières said.

Estonia will receive the radars between 2024 and 2025 for an undisclosed amount.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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