Morocco has the most sought-after radars in the world

The Ground Master 400 Alpha (GM400) radar complex of French technology has become the most sought-after defensive system in the world
<p>Radar Ground Master 403 (KEVA2010) transportado por Sisu E13TP expuesto en la feria de seguridad Comprehensive 2015 de Tampere, Finlandia - PHOTO/WIKIPEDIA/Kokonaisturvallisuus</p>
Ground Master 403 Radar (KEVA2010) transported by Sisu E13TP on display at the Comprehensive 2015 safety fair in Tampere, Finland - PHOTO/WIKIPEDIA/Kokonaisturvallisuus
  1. Why is this radar so sought after? 
  2. Morocco tops the list

The war between Ukraine and Russia has changed the course of the planet. According to the latest report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPIRI), political instability and ongoing armed conflicts have increased global military spending by 9%, reaching levels never seen before. 

 - Miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas Reales de Marruecos observan una explosión durante el segundo ejercicio militar anual del León Africano en la región de Tan-Tan, en el suroeste de Marruecos, el 30 de junio de 2022
Members of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces observe an explosion during the second annual African Lion military exercise in the Tan-Tan region of southwestern Morocco - AFP/FADEL SENNA

While Morocco's increase was gradual year on year, the outbreak of war in Europe has steepened the growth curve of Moroccan military spending. In turn, Algeria's increased spending has had a rebound effect on Morocco's Royal Armed Forces (FAR) in terms of military spending. 

Among Moroccan acquisitions, the Ground Master 400 Alpha radar stands out. Purchased in 2021 the first units, the GM400 radar is now one of the most sought after by all the world's armies. 

PHOTO/FILE - Ejercicios militares African Lion
African Lion military exercises - PHOTO/ARCHIVO

Why is this radar so sought after? 

Developed and manufactured at the Thales facility in Limours, France, this Ground Master airborne surveillance radar is in high demand in countries around the world due to its advanced detection capabilities against a variety of airborne threats. 

Among the reasons it is so sought-after is exclusivity, as, since production began in 2008, Thales has sold 200 GM radars to 32 countries around the world since 2008, consolidating its position as Europe's leading radar manufacturer and third in the world behind Lockheed Martin and Raytheon of the US. 

In 2023 alone, the company sold 40 radars, highlighting the growing demand for advanced airborne surveillance systems.

The second reason is price. The Ground Master radar, which costs 30 million dollars for the GM 400 Alpha model, is designed to detect aerial threats such as fighter jets, drones, missiles and helicopters. It is so sophisticated that it detects and differentiates perfectly between the flight of a bird and that of a drone. 

The main features of the radar are: enhanced aerial surveillance, the ability to dominate the airspace, a range of 500 kilometres of vision, mobility and advanced tracking and countermeasures for tracking all types of objects.

Imagen de un radar de la entidad francesa Thales - PHOTO/REDES/@thalesgroup
Image of a radar of the French entity Thales - PHOTO/REDES/@thalesgroup

Morocco tops the list

The North African country is one of the countries that has invested the most in Thales' advanced radar technology. According to Politico, they join other countries such as Indonesia and European countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Estonia, which bought 13 GM 400 Alpha last year. These radar purchases are part of the country's drive to improve military capabilities and ensure airspace security. 

As the French government pushes defence companies to produce more weapons faster and at lower cost, Thales is trying to streamline its manufacturing process. The Limours plant, 50 kilometres south of Paris, now has four test chambers for tuning radar antennas instead of three, and the number of test chambers for assembled radars has increased from 10 to 17.

In addition, Yves Descourvieres, head of product management for multi-mission surveillance radars, confirmed that the next objective is to double the equipment and personnel to allow for better rotating shifts on the assembly lines.