Thales' WM Family Celebrates 40 Years
Exactly 40 years ago, Thales' first WM-20 naval surveillance and tracking system was sold to Thailand (HTMS Tapi). In the years that followed WM-22 up to WM-29 joined the family. The WM concept of integrating a surveillance radar and a tracking radar into one system proved to be a huge success. As many as 350 systems were sold to navies all over the world. The last WM system was delivered in 1990 for the RMN Hassan II of the Royal Moroccan Navy.
At present, Thales is updating the operator consoles of WM systems on board two corvettes in operational service for an Asian Navy. The update consists of replacing the obsolete tube displays by modern LCD displays and installing new data input devices. This replacement is available for all WM operator consoles.
The WM concept proves to have been ahead of its time as this remarkable system can be considered as the ancestor of the ultramodern I-Mast family Thales is currently building. For both the I-Mast and the WM family are turnkey systems that incorporate in one infrastructure various sensors to cover all radar requirements of one naval vessel.
Of the 350 WM systems built, a staggering 230 are still operational, thanks to the upgrades, modifications, and overhauls enabled by Thales.
The WM family is the living proof of Thales' capability of supporting its customers and products for a long period of time and enabling navies to keep their platforms operational in a cost-effective manner. This is one of the characteristics the company is showcasing at the ongoing Euronaval 2010 in Paris.