UK Royal Air Force to Operate New Radar Systems in Gibraltar

Thales and Aquila have installed radar systems at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar to support the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Gibraltar’s air traffic management.

Commissioned in partnership with the UK National Air Traffic Services, the radars will serve as surveillance assets for the air force and the Gibraltar International Airport.

The radar systems use Thales’ StarNG and RSM970S for primary and secondary surveillance.

Reliable Surveillance

During a demonstration, the radar systems collected a large amount of data for computational analysis through a Thales-provided aircraft that flew around the vicinity.

The information was sent to the UK Ministry of Defence for validation in parallel with RAF requirements.

“We’re extremely pleased with the delivery and performance of the new Primary and Secondary radars that will serve Gibraltar for decades to come,” Thales UK Regional Program Manager Eddie Trott said.

An ‘Inspiring’ Project

According to Thales, the milestone follows a successful technical setup and customer acceptance trials managed by over 100 personnel.

The radar systems were covered with a white spherical dome for protection against extreme weather conditions.

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter was also used to airlift components to the mountain peak.

“The installation challenges at the top of ‘The Rock’ have been daunting, yet inspiring and hugely rewarding. Location-wise, it’s certainly one of Programme Marshall’s most difficult installations, but a pleasure to be part of and satisfying to see it complete,” Trott explained.

“We received exceptional support from RAF Gibraltar and the Government of Gibraltar. A huge thank you to the hundreds of people involved in the project and to the many Gibraltarians who’ve helped make it happen.”

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