By 1961, it was clear that the Soviet Union was conducting tests and exercises with guided weapons in the Barents Sea. The only reliable sources of information at that time were Norwegian COMINT stations in Vadso and Kirkenes close to Kola. The data collected by these stations, analyzed in US, gave clear indications that the Russians were test-launching missiles from submarines.
Norwegian authorities were requested by the US to initiate a coordinated operation to fill the picture that COMINT had provided. US Air Force headquarter in December 1961 directed the USAF Foreign Technology Division to establish a project for RADINT directed at the Kola/Barents Sea. Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1962 invested half a million dollar in the project. A Norwegian intelligence officer, Reiss-Andersen, on request from the Americans was based a liason officer at Wright-Patterson Air Base and participated in several coordinating meetings between CIA-NSA-ONI and USAF about the MAD CAT project.
After several meetings a project codenamed MAD CAT (Mobile Automatic Digital Collection and Analysis Trailers) was initated in Vardo in 1963. The project was then named CREEK MAID in US and GLOBUS in Norway. The Americans gave high priority to missile and space activity, and were willing to invest significant resources to keep CREEK Maid upgraded.
CREEK MAID was the overall name of the project and consisted of two landbased stations in Vardo. Subprojects and upgrades were called MAD CAT, CORVUS, MAID MARIAN and SOUTH SEA. In Norway the project (GLOBUS) consisted of a tracking radar and also an optical tracking system. MAD CAT became operational in 1965.
Until at least 1970 GLOBUS I was a radar designed for keeping an eye on Russian SLBMs - and also Pletesk. The military intelligence staff decline to comment on the function of the radar and will neither deny nor confirm that Globus I is an ICBM radar. As for the whereabouts of the radar in recent decades, the US withdrew financial support after the Soviet Union disintegrated. Norway has continued to operate the radar and finance the operation through the Norwegian defense budget.
- "Top secret", the history of Norwegian military intelligence 1945-70.
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