|RAF Boulmer Fighter Control CRC|
|In March 2005 I had the honour of visitng RAF Boulmer with a few fellow members of Sub-Brit. It has been a radar site since the 50's and the early days of project ROTOR and a lot of buildings from that time remain today, most in different uses. We were mainly interested in the R3, a 2 level underground bunker accessed from a tunnel under a bungalow like most east coast ROTOR stations were. The museum at Anstruther near St Andrews is a very good example, and a lot more origional than the one we saw at Boulmer. Boulmer has been so modernised you wouldnt know it was built in the 50's. Also the R3 was greatly expanded in the 80's with a huge plant section being added and a lot of elaborate tunnels to dissipate blasts from any guided bombs that might get chucked down one of the air vents. Most Impressive, as was the op's room or CRC (control and reporting centre) which now controls the entire airspace around the UK, all the other bases which formerly shared the job having been recently shut down. All the radar heads e.g. RAF Buchan (which also has a highly modified R3) are all now just remotes with a few staff controlled from RAF Boulmer. All the controllers sit in front of stations consisting of 3 monitors (sometimes 4) one of these screens does the job of the old style tote-board and they can select any radar in the uk and talk to any aircraft. An incredible system enabling you to zoom in on any area in british waters and a lot further click on any aircraft, listen in, or get data about fuel etc from the aircraft without bothering the pilots. As I said, highly impressive but also highly classified. We werent allowed any photographs in the actual bunker at all. One of us was allowed to take some but they will screen them before we are allowed to put them on the net.
watch this space .....
Also on the site is the R12 Rotor Building which once had a staggeringly huge dish on the top, but is now only used for storage. A massive building which was once full to the brim of electrical radar gear now stripped out. And the type 80 modulator building which was built at the same time as the R3 in 1954. Its radar dish is long gone also. Boulmer also houses a special Radar unit with mobile arrays and equipment ready to go anywhere in the world at short notice. The site is also home to the RAF Fighter Control School.
Here are a few pictures with more on a second page.. I have also put up a lot more on webshots a direct link to which is right here.
|The R3 Bungalow. Click to Enlarge|
|The Radome and Mobile Radar Unit|
|See my RAF Boulmer Webshots page. Click here|
|Second page of pics
|The Type 80 modulator building|