France sells latest air defence radars to Bangladesh Army

France sells latest air defence radars to Bangladesh Army

French defence equipment manufacturer Thales, has reportedly sold two long range air defence radar systems to the Bangladesh Army to enhance its battlefield surveillance network.

According to La Tribune newspaper, the the French defence electronics manufacturer signed a contract with Bangladesh to supply two high-performance long range radar systems known as the Ground Master 400 (GM400), which have an instrument range exceeding 500 km.

The GM400 is designed to protect strategic areas or forces deployed in external territories, allowing for the detection of air threats in the battle space.

The 3D AESA radar can improve situational awareness by building an accurate, up to date Recognised-Air-Picture under challenging battlefield conditions.

Thales claims the GM400, with its update rate of 6 seconds and an elevation coverage of up to 40°, it can continuously scan the airspace simultaneously detecting all types of high, medium and low altitude targets.

Once detected, classification of targets as friend or foe is crucial in order to avoid fratricide fire. GM400 fused interrogation mode 5 enables quick Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) providing C2 centres with optimum response time and complete peace of mind.

The GM400s operational flexibility is also characterised by its highly mobile design. It fits in to a 20ft container, complete with a lifting system can be mounted on a truck and redeployed in less than one hour. Radar operators can also use the decoys fitted on the radar to ensure survivability during war time operations. The algorithms ensure that the GM400 does not return false positive readings if deployed near places such as wind farms.

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Key features of the GM400 includes digital beam forming, S-band with GaN technology, full domain coverage every 6 seconds, MTBF of >3,000 hours, operational availability of 98.5%, chosen and planned maintenance with limited team.

The GM400 is named after its range at the time of its initial design. However, due to a series of software evolutions, the range exceeds 500 km. It is available in fixed and mobile versions.

The Bangladesh Army may deploy the systems in standalone configuration, however it can be integrated in a national airspace surveillance network in cooperation with the Bangladesh Air Force and Bangladesh Navy.

Thales has sold over 70 GM400s to France, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Slovenia, Malaysia, Senegal and Bolivia in the past.

It is known as the most successful radar in its category since entry on the market 10 years ago. This latest acquisition from Europe signifies the rapidly developing defence ties between Bangladesh and the West. It also illustrates the Bangladesh Army’s desire to maintain a strong deterrence capability in the face of a fluid security situation in the region.

The systems will be integrated with the medium range air defence system, which is scheduled to be delivered to the Bangladesh, also from a NATO-member country. This latest contract secured by Thales comes in the back of contracts for electronic warfare systems and secure frequency hopping radio communication systems for the Bangladesh Army.

Thales is also supplying air traffic systems for the airports at Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar including the STAR 2000 s-band air surveillance radar under a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB).

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