Back-Up Interceptor Control
Backup Interceptor Control (BUIC, //) was the Electronic Systems Division 416M System to backup the SAGE 416L System in the United States and Canada. BUIC deployed Cold War command, control, and coordination systems to SAGE radar stations to create dispersed NORAD Control Centers.
Prior to the SAGE Direction Centers becoming operational, the USAF deployed data link systems at NORAD Control Centers with ground computers for controlling manned interceptors. After SAGE IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Centrals became operational and the Super Combat Centers with improved (digital) computers were cancelled, a backup to SAGE was planned in the event the above-ground SAGE Air Defense Direction Center was incapable of weapons direction.
General Electric AN/GPA-37 Course Directing Group
BUIC began with deployment of General Electric AN/GPA-37 Course Directing Groups to several Long Range Radar stations. Units designated included the "U.S. Air Force 858th Air Defense Group (BUIC) [which became] a permanent operating facility" at Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada.
The AN/GYK-19 (initially AN/GSA-51A) was an upgraded version of the BUIC II system designated AN/GSA-51A and required a larger building than the AN/GSA-51. The first BUIC III site was Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Senneterre, and Air Defense Command's was first installed at Fort Fisher Air Force Station, North Carolina.
Although more advanced systems were contemplated, the final design of the BUIC III system was an upgraded version of the BUIC II with around twice the performance.
Closure and upgrade
In 1972 the USAF decided to shut down most of the BUIC sites; most of the sites mothballed by 1974, except for the BUIC III site at Tyndall Air Force Base. In Canada the BUIC site at Senneterre was shut down, but St Margarets remained open. The remaining sites were closed between 1983-1984 when SAGE was replaced by the Joint Surveillance System.
The AN/FYQ47 Common Digitizer for the Joint Surveillance System, a combined system for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Air Force, replaced the SAGE Burroughs AN/FST-2 Coordinate Data Transmitting Sets.
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The Systems Office has obtained more detailed information about the Radar Course Directing Group, AN/GPA-37, at a symposium held at RADC on 26 and 27 July. The GPA-37 is intended for backup air defense for SAGE and will be operated at the Heavy Radar P-sites in the Zone of Interior.
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