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SIGINT RAF Fylingdales

Last modified: 09 Mar 2018

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Historical: RAF/USAFE early warning site Fylingdales was activated facing possible Soviet nuclear missile attacks. Built by Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1962 and maintained by Serco Group. Fylingdales first consisted of 'golfballs'. All 40m diameter radomes containing radar and becoming a local tourist attraction. The site also hosted NARS (North Atlantic Radio System) and ETA (European Troposcatter Army) comms facilities.
From 1989 - 1992, Raytheon US replaced some radomes by a pyramid structure, housing the Active Electronically Scanned Arrays (AESA) AN/FPS-126 Precision Acquisition Vehicle Entry Phased Array Warning System (PAVE PAWS) radar with an appx range of 3300 nautical miles.

Primary role: maintaining uninterrupted missile warning service.
Secondary role: space surveillance. Accurate data of all man-made objects in space is important to prevent false indications of a missile attack. Besides space surveillance also allows gathering information (metadata) of all kinds of satellites.

Unit structure:

  1. Ops Squadron. Responsible for missile warning, space surveillance and satellite warning in support of the US.
  2. Support Squadron. Provides all station services, and is also concerned with evaluation of personnel for the space ops missions, physical training, maintenance and operation of communication information systems.

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