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Encyclopedia > RAF Fylingdales
BMEWS solid-state phased-array radar at RAF Fylingdales
BMEWS solid-state phased-array radar at RAF Fylingdales

RAF Fylingdales is a British Royal Air Force station on Fylingdales Moor, North Yorkshire, England. It is a radar base and part of the United States-controlled Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS). Under the so-called 'special relationship' between the United States and United Kingdom, data collected at RAF Fylingdales is shared between the two countries. Its primary purpose is to give the British and US governments warning of an impending ballistic missile attack (part the so-called four minute warning during the Cold War, though in practice three minutes was more likely). A secondary role is the detection and tracking of orbiting objects. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4448x2805, 2417 KB) Summary BMEWS solid-state phased-array radar at RAF Fylindales. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4448x2805, 2417 KB) Summary BMEWS solid-state phased-array radar at RAF Fylindales. ... The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the air force branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Heaths are anthropogenic habitats found primarily in northern and western Europe, where they have been created by thousands of years of human clearance of natural forest vegetation by grazing and burning on mainly infertile acidic soils. ... Bolton Abbey North Yorkshire is a Shire county within the region of Yorkshire and the Humber in England. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the United Kingdom (light green), with the Republic of Ireland (blue) to its west Languages English Capital London Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population –mid-2004... This long range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll[1]. Radar is a system that uses radio waves to detect, determine the distance of, and map, objects such... A military base is a facility, settlement, reservation, or installation that shelters military equipment and personnel. ... Phased array BMEWS Installation at Thule, Greenland The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) was the first operational ballistic missile detection radar. ... Prime Minister Winston Churchill, (left) with President Franklin Roosevelt, at the 1945 Yalta Conference. ... Wiktionary has related dictionary definitions, such as: country In political geography and international politics a country is a geographical territory. ... This law-related article does not cite its references or sources. ... Polish missile wz. ... The four minute warning was conceived by the British Government during the Cold War. ... The Cold War was the protracted geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle that emerged after World War II between the global superpowers of the Soviet Union and the United States, supported by their military alliance partners. ...

Contents


Operation

BMEWS

While the base remains a 'British asset' operated and commanded by the Royal Air Force, it also forms one of three stations in the United States BMEWS network (the United States also funds the cost of the radar units). The other two stations in the network are Thule Air Base, Greenland and Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. The data grab obtained by Fylingdales is shared fully and freely with the United States, where it feeds into the US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command at Cheyenne Mountain. To this end a United States Air Force liasion officer is stationed at the base. Map of Greenland Thule Air Base Thule Air Base, Qaanaaq, Greenland, is the United States Air Forces northernmost base (76°32′ N 68°50′ W), located 695 miles (1118 km) north of the Arctic Circle and 947 miles (1524 km) south of the North Pole on the northwest side... Clear Air Force Station is a United States Air Force base located 5 miles (8 kilometers) south of Anderson, Alaska. ... Official language(s) English Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,854 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... The NORAD shield. ... 1,400 people work inside Cheyenne Mountain. ... The United States Air Force (or USAF) is the aerospace branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ...


Systems

The primary radars of RAF Fylingdales are Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) (phased array) radars, mounted on each face of a truncated tetrahedron, typically referred to as the "pyramid." This gives Fylingdales a uniqueness amongst its peers in that it covers a full 360 degrees. Each of the three arrays contains around 2,560 transmit/receive modules, total peak power output equates to some 2.5MW with a tracking range of 3,000+ miles. APAR AESA An Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA), also known as active phased array radar is a revolutionary type of radar whose transmitter and receiver functions are composed of numerous small transmit/receive (T/R) modules. ... A tetrahedron (plural: tetrahedra) is a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces, three of which meet at each vertex. ... A mile is any of a number of units of distance, each in the magnitude of 1–10 km. ...


Controversy

The functions of RAF Fylingdales have been subject to criticism from opposition groups, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), leading to protests being held on occasion. These stem from concerns regarding the base's association with nuclear warfare and the militarisation of space. They argue against the UK assisting the US National Missile Defense (NMD) program with RAF Fylingdales' ability to detect attacks, claiming it to be unnecessary. Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament logo In British politics, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament has been at the forefront of the peace movement in the United Kingdom and claims to be Europes largest single-issue peace campaign. ... Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. ... The Titan II ICBM carried a 9 Mt W53 warhead, making it one of the most powerful nuclear weapons fielded by the United States during the Cold War. ... A ground-based interceptor, designed to destroy incoming ICBMs, is lowered into its silo at the missile defence complex at Fort Greely, Alaska, July 22, 2004. ... A payload launch vehicle carrying a prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle is launched from Meck Island at the Kwajalein Missile Range on Dec. ...


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) defends the use and role of the facility however, regarding RAF Fylingdales as part of the UK's contribution to counter a military threat. The MoD states that although ballistic missile attack is a minor threat currently, this could change in the long-term future if as-yet unknown enemies develop missiles as a means to overcome large distances to strike at the UK. The Ministry of Defence (MOD, pronounced em-oh-dee) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. ...


Another RAF base, RAF Menwith Hill, is also located in Yorkshire and has a close arrangement with the United States. Likewise, it has been the focus of similar protests. Menwith Hill from the air RAF Menwith Hill is an intelligence-gathering base located approximately eight miles west of the town of Harrogate, UK, 54°00′N 1°41′W. Founded in the 1950s to monitor High Frequency radio communications, it has been operated since 1966 by the US National...


History

Cold War

The station was built by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in 1962, and was maintained by RCA (Great Britain), now Serco Group plc. RAF Fylingdales comprised of three large 40 metre diameter 'golfballs' or geodesic domes (radomes) containing mechanically steered radar. It became a local tourist attraction as a result (even though it still does not appear on any UK map). Coach tours to the nearby coastal town of Whitby drove past the site, at which point drivers would typically switch the radio on and allow passengers to listen to the interference caused by the radomes. RCA, formerly an initialism for the Radio Corporation of America, is now a trademark used by two companies for products descended from that common ancestor: Thomson Consumer Electronics, which manufactures RCA-branded televisions, DVD players, video cassette recorders, direct broadcast satellite decoders, camcorders, audio equipment, telephones, and related accessories; and... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... Serco Group plc is an international company with several branches. ... Radomes at the Misawa Security Operations Center, Misawa, Japan. ... This long range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll[1]. Radar is a system that uses radio waves to detect, determine the distance of, and map, objects such... Whitby is a historic town in North Yorkshire on the north-east coast of England. ... Interference of two circular waves - Wavelength (decreasing bottom to top) and Wave centers distance (increasing to the right). ...


Between 1989 and 1992, the US defence contractor, Raytheon, completed a contract which saw the domes replaced by the current tetrahedron ('pyramid') structure, housing the Active Electronically Scanned Arrays or AESA (phased array) radar. 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... A defense contractor (sometimes called a military contractor) is a business organization or individual that provides products or services to a defense department of a government. ... Raytheon Company NYSE: RTN is a major United States military contractor based in Waltham, Massachusetts. ...


Health fears

In June 2003, concern arose that RAF Fylingdales was emitting harmful emissions into the surrounding area after a cancer cluster was discovered around a similar radar facility at Cape Cod in the United States. The issue was investigated by the local National Health Service organisation, the Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Primary Care Trust and a report was released in December. It concluded there was no relationship between RAF Fylingdales and local cancer rates nor any abnormal risk, as cancer rates in the immediate area proved to be normal. A 2003 MoD report on the impact of the NMD upgrade at RAF Fylingdales reiterated that the base was within health guidelines and would remain so. Cancer cluster is a term used by epidemiologists, statisticians, and public health workers to define an occurrence of a greater-than-expected number of cancer cases within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time1. ... Astronaut photo of Cape Cod and Cape Cod Bay Cape Cod (1033 km²) is an arm-shaped peninsula forming the Easternmost portion of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States. ... The logo of the NHS for England. ...


National Missile Defence

In the late 1990's, with the United States deciding to fully pursue a National Missile Defense plan, RAF Fylingdales attracted further publicity. To improve tracking capabilities (for launches from Africa and the Middle East) the United States wanted the use of Fylingdales as part of its NMD network. After receiving a formal request from the US, the British Government agreed to its use as an NMD tracking facility in 2003. This decision has led to renewed demonstrations by CND and other anti-nuclear and anti-war protestors. It has also complicated Britain's fragile relationship with certain European Union states such as France. The decision was criticised due to the fact that the proposed NMD system would be solely for US benefit. A payload launch vehicle carrying a prototype exoatmospheric kill vehicle is launched from Meck Island at the Kwajalein Missile Range on Dec. ... Africa is the worlds second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


A £449m upgrade for RAF Fylingdales to become an NMD tracking facility is now underway by Boeing. It will replace many internal systems; computers, displays, etc. to improve resolution and tracking accuracy. No external changes are being made in direct relation to these upgrades and no power increases will occur. The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA, TYO: 7661 ) is the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer. ...


According to an article published in late 2004, the British Government secretly agreed to a US request to station NMD missile interceptors at Fylingdales Moor. This has subsequently been denied by the Ministry of Defence. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Ministry of Defence (MOD, pronounced em-oh-dee) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. ...


References

The Ministry of Defence (MOD, pronounced em-oh-dee) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. ... December 9 is the 343rd day (344th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... BBC News Online logo The BBC News Website in February 2006. ... December 14 is the 348th day of the year (349th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... BBC News Online logo The BBC News Website in February 2006. ... December 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... BBC News Online logo The BBC News Website in February 2006. ... January 15 is the 15th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Ministry of Defence (MOD, pronounced em-oh-dee) is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and the headquarters of the British Armed Forces. ... June 16 is the 167th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (168th in leap years), with 198 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC News Online logo The BBC News Website in February 2006. ... June 2 is the 153rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (154th in leap years), with 212 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC News Online logo The BBC News Website in February 2006. ... November 30 is the 334th day (335th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 31 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... BBC News Online logo The BBC News Website in February 2006. ... October 17 is the 290th (in leap years the 291st) day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
UK Cold War:RAF Bases (3918 words)
RAF Fylingdales was opened in 1962, The main role of Fylingdales is a Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station, but it also acts as a centre for detecting, reporting and tracking satellite launches and orbits.
RAF Northolt was one of the key airfields in the Defence of London during the Battle of Britain.
RAF Pembrey Sands is a bombing and firing range and is adjacent to the old Pembrey airfield on the south Wales Coast.
RAF Fylingdales - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1030 words)
The primary radars of RAF Fylingdales are Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) (phased array) radars, mounted on each face of a truncated tetrahedron, typically referred to as the "pyramid." This gives Fylingdales a uniqueness amongst its peers in that it covers a full 360 degrees.
The functions of RAF Fylingdales have been subject to criticism from opposition groups, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), leading to protests being held on occasion.
In June 2003, concern arose that RAF Fylingdales was emitting harmful emissions into the surrounding area after a cancer cluster was discovered around a similar radar facility at Cape Cod in the United States.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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