Moroccan Air Force receives Ground Master radar


The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) has received a Ground Master 400 radar from Thales in the company’s 100th delivery of the system.

Thales said the milestone delivery of the 100th Ground Master, to Morocco, took place in July, with a site acceptance test in September under a contract signed in 2019 with the Royal Moroccan Air Force.

This is in addition to a previous order placed in 2013, which saw three Ground Master 403 radar systems delivered between 2013 and 2014.

“With the Ground Master 400, the Royal Moroccan Air Force has a decisive advantage in terms of territorial protection and air surveillance. Thales is a long-standing partner of the Kingdom of Morocco, and this deployment testifies national authorities’ continuing confidence in Thales. We are proud to have reached the 100th milestone of the Ground Master family, a game changing family of radars for superior situational awareness with a solid reputation for performance and reliability for national sovereignty,” said Christophe Salomon, Executive Vice President, Land and Air Systems, Thales.

The Ground Master 400 has been selected by more than a dozen countries. In 2020 alone, Thales sold 24 Ground Master radars.

The S-band radar has a detection range of 5-470 km (although Thales claims more than 500 km for later versions) at an altitude up to 30 500 metres and can be deployed in a single 20 foot shipping container. It can also be vehicle-mounted – it is available in mobile or fixed versions.

Thales said its Ground Master radars have been evolving to meet new threats, including low-flying unmanned aerial vehicles. “The GM radars’ digital architecture enables flexibility to innovate and anticipate new emerging challenges such as innovative algorithms mitigating the impact of wind turbines”.

The Ground Master 400 was the first radar of the Ground Master product family, and was followed by the Ground Master 200, a mid-range radar covering both air surveillance and air defence missions. The Ground Master 200 family now exists in two new versions – Multi-mission/All-in-one (MM/A) and the Multi-mission/Compact (MM/C) – both featuring active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology. The product family also includes the Ground Master 60, a short-range tactical radar addressing land force protection.

A decade ago, Morocco acquired eight Raytheon AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel air surveillance radars for approximately $67 million. These were delivered between 2012 and 2013. The AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel low altitude air surveillance and air defence radar is a 3D, phased array X-band unit capable of automatic target detection and tracking. The towed radar has a range of around 40 km and can detect targets from cruise missiles to unmanned aerial vehicles and helicopters.