UK to Procure Dutch Counter-Battery Radar for British Army

The UK will procure a new weapon-locating radar for the British Army.

The Thales Nederland Ground Master 200 (GM200) multimission radar will be procured as part of project Serpens.

It supports various missions, including simultaneous weapon location and counter-battery activities, air surveillance, and air defense, according to Thales.

Its compact design provides high mobility, short deployment time, and ease of transportation.

“The procurement with the Netherlands will be undertaken under a new memorandum of understanding and will build on the GM200 sensor as part of a multinational NATO community,”  the UK Ministry of Defence stated in a notice.

Project Serpens

The 400-million-pound ($490 million) Serpens project seeks to deliver a suite of radar and sensor systems, integrating multiple current and future systems and sensors.

It includes deep find and close find radar systems and an integrated suite of acoustic and electro-optic passive sensors.

An interoperable and integrated digitized command and control system will also be acquired for the sensors, replacing the legacy standalone systems. 

Upgrading Legacy Systems

Serpens was launched in 2018 as London acknowledged the need to upgrade its aging weapon locating systems: the mobile artillery monitoring battlefield asset, the hostile artillery locating system, and the AN/TPQ-49 lightweight counter-mortar radar.

The systems are reportedly about 15 years old and are due to retire by 2026.

The new systems are expected to detect, recognize, identify, and locate incoming threats — such as rockets, artillery, and mortars — from a much greater range than the existing systems.

Initial operating capability is expected by 2029, and full operating capability three years later.

The British Army’s 1 Artillery Brigade and 1st Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Brigade will field the new capability.

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