United Arab Emirates: GM-200 Order

The United Arab Emirates has ordered 17 GM-200 radars from Thales for €300 million ($396 million).

The S-band GM-200 is designed as a tactical radar to perform air surveillance at a published range of 250 kilometres (108 nautical miles). The three-dimensional GM-200 provides up to 70° elevation coverage which gives a ceiling of 80,000 feet (24,384 metres). By doubling the radar’s rotation speed to 40 revolutions-per-minute its engagement range can be sharpened to 100km (54nm).

It is thought that the GM-200 could provide low-altitude surveillance coverage for the country. Existing GM-200 user nations include Germany, France and Canada.

United States Of America – AN/TPQ-49 Purchase

The US Army has placed an order worth $221.8 million (€168.6 million) for the supply of up to 73 AN/TPQ-49 weapons-locating radars with SRC.

So far, the firm has delivered in excess of 500 AN/TPQ-49s to the force. The contract for the 73 radars, announced on 19th July, follows an earlier contract awarded in September 2012 worth $250 million (€190 million) to provide the maintenance and upgrade of the radar in US Army service.

The L-band AN/TPQ-49 has a detection range in the region of ten kilometres (five nautical miles), and has a point of origin accuracy of 75 metres (246 feet) at five kilometres. The radar covers 360° in azimuth and 0-30° elevation. The entire AN/TPQ-49 systems weight is 68 kilograms (149 lbs).

United States: ViSAR Award

L-3 Electron Devices has been awarded a contract by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) worth $2.6 million (€1.9 million) to undertake the Video Synthetic Aperture Radar (ViSAR) design and development programme.

The ViSAR initiative intends to develop a SAR radar which can perform target identification through cloud and other battlefield obscurants to enable United States Air Force AC-130H/U Spectre/Spooky-II fixed-wing gunships to

AC-130U (US DoD)
AC-130U (US DoD)

engage targets in bad weather or dusty conditions. This would have the added advantage of enabling the gunship to use such conditions to mask the aircraft from ground-to-air fire.

As part of the contract L-3 will construct and test the radar, and then integrate it onto an AC-130 airframe for additional testing. Ultimately, the ViSAR sensor is intended to compensate for shortfalls in the performance of the infra-red sensors which AC-130s routinely carry which can be disrupted by obscurants in the atmosphere. Once developed, the ViSAR sensor could be housed on the aircraft in an external pod mounting.

Chile: C-130 collects Sentinels

An AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar is loaded onto a Chilean Air Force C-130 ready for transport. (USAF)
An AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radar is loaded onto a Chilean Air Force C-130 ready for transport. (USAF)

The Fuerza Aérea de Chile (Chilean Air Force) has sent a Lockheed Martin C-130 turboprop freighter to collect AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel X-band short-range air defence radars which have been purchased via a Foreign Military Sale from the United States.

These radars have a range of 40-75 kilometres (22-40 nautical miles) depending on the variant, and a ceiling of up to 39,000 feet (12,000 metres). Two of the radars were loaded onto the aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California, for their journey to Latin America.

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