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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


AN/FPS-27 Radar

The Frequency Diversity Radar program was a major radar developmental program at Air Force Rome Air Development Center [RADC]. Some of the prototypes developed as part of it included the AN/FPS-27 search radar. This equipment was designed to succeed existing Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) radar systems, which had served as the backbone of air defense of the CONUS, in order to provide enhanced electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) capability. This Westinghouse-built system was designed to operate in the S-band at 2322 to 2670 MHz, with a maximum range of 220 nautical miles and search to an altitude of 150,000 feet.

System problems required several modifications at the test platform located at Crystal Springs, Mississippi. Once these problems were solved, the first of twenty units in the continental United States became operational at Charleston, Maine, in 1963. The last unit was installed at Bellefontaine, Ohio, a year later. In the early 1970s, AN/FPS-27 radar stations that had not been shutdown received a modification (solid state circuitry replacing vacuum tubes) that improved reliability and saved on maintenance costs.




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