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Cold War Radar

Aircraft and AWACS


Radar was used in American fighter planes, for example the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle which had a very well developed radar which was used to search and intercept.  The more modern aircrafts which could fly quick and low, such as the F-111 Aardvark and B-1 had very good radar as well.


AWACS, or Airborne Warning and Control System were planes which used radar for the purpose of surveillance.  They were used in various places, including NATO and NORAD.

In 1977 the first American AWACS plane became active.  AWACSA are remembered as being American, but the idea first came from the British Royal Radar Establishment (RRE) in 1944 to fight flying bombs.

AWACS used an old Boeing 707-320, and had a thirty foot radar rotodome.  They were able to visualize many planes and look beneath themselves with the use of their radar.

In essence, AWACS meant putting the people, radar, and computers from a radar station, into an aircraft.  It was hoped by the Americans that AWACS would cancel out the need for ground radar. 

Though this did not happen, AWACS did have the ability to locate objects through the ground clutter and were a useful asset.