The Royal Netherlands Army can look forward to receiving nine multi-mission radar (MMR) systems from Thales developed entirely in the Netherlands, according to an announcement made on Monday by Thales and the Dutch Defence Equipment Organisation.

Thales Nederland claims that the MMR is one of the most advanced radar systems currently available. According to spokesperson Job van Harmelen, the system can detect and register everything within a radius of 400 km: mortars, drones, planes, helicopters and cruise missiles. It can even distinguish different projectiles in a salvo.


The multi-mission feature is new. 'The radar can follow traces of incoming and outgoing ground fire, but also monitor the entire airspace at the same time. Previously, multiple systems were needed to do this.' The system not only sees where mortars are being fired from, it also calculates where they will land, says Van Harmelen.

Another important advantage of the radar system is its rapid preparation time. It can be transported on a trailer, and can be up and running within two minutes. 'It’s almost plug-and-play,' says Van Harmelen. The system requires no levelling, as any misalignment is automatically corrected by the built-in software. 

Lieutenant General Leo Beulen, commander of the Royal Netherlands Army, is delighted with the new system. 'The MMR’s unique multi-mission capability means it can go beyond helping to win long-distance battles by accurately identifying targets,' he says in a press release. 'The MMR will also improve the Royal Netherlands Army’s air defence capacity by combating new threats from the air, such as rocket attacks, artillery and mortar, and unmanned aerial systems.'

Nederland Radarland

The MMR is the latest achievement of the Nederland Radarland partnership, which was set up in 2002 to stimulate knowledge, innovation and developments in the field of radar in the Netherlands. As well as Thales and the Ministry of Defence, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and Delft University of Technology are members of the partnership. The MMR system, which was developed jointly by Thales and the Royal Netherlands Army, is a refinement of a radar system previously developed for the Royal Netherlands Navy.

'The Netherlands has a leading position in radar development,' says Geert van der Molen, VP Naval at Thales Netherlands and responsible for marine affairs. According to Van der Molen, the MMR is a 'perfect example' of the results of Nederland Radarland. 'The unique, long-term cooperation between the military experts of the Royal Netherlands Army and Thales has led to an extremely modern multi-mission solution, developed for both current and future threats.'

The first MMR will be delivered in 2.5 years. The purchase represents an investment of 100 to 250 million euros, according to a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Photo: Thales Nederland

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