Chain Home Low

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Radar Coverage 1939-1940

Chain Home Low (CHL) was the name of a British radar early warning system, detecting enemy aircraft movement at lower altitudes than and summarily used with the fixed Chain Home system which was operated by the RAF during World War II.[1] Officially, its designation name was AMES Type 2 (Air Ministry Experimental Station) and used higher power, operating at a shorter wavelength of 1.5 metres — a high-end VHF frequency of about 200 MHz — than Chain Home.[1] Such systems could be mobile[2] in which units were placed on trucks and could be strategically moved based on enemy movement, giving the RAF a wider option where and when they would engage or not engage the enemy.

Margam CHL Station, 2012

It was based on CD (Coastal Defence) and CA (Coastal Artillery) radar which were able to detect low-flying aircraft, leading to the development of CHL for the RAF.

Later in World War II, 3 GHz-frequency Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) radar were often co-sited with CHL sites. As the name implies, these sets provided radar coverage at even lower altitudes than was possible with Chain Home Low.

List of Chain Home Low sites[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The prototype CH system - 1939... Chain, Home... Operational". Bournemouth University. 1995–2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "The prototype CH system - Chain Home Low (CHL)". Bournemouth University. 1995–2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  3. ^ Chain Home Extra Low Station K163, Heritage Gateway. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
  4. ^ Anon. "St David's Head". Experience Pembrokeshire. PLANED. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 


  • Batt, Reg., The Radar Army: Winning the War of the Airwaves (1991, Robert Hale, London) ISBN 0-7090-4508-5
  • Bowen, E.G., Radar Days, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, 1987., ISBN 0-7503-0586-X
  • Bragg, Michael., RDF1 The Location of Aircraft by Radio Methods 1935-1945, Hawkhead Publishing, Paisley 1988 ISBN 0-9531544-0-8 The history of ground radar in the UK during World War II
  • Brown, Louis., A Radar History of World War II, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, 1999., ISBN 0-7503-0659-9
  • Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne., Radar A Wartime Miracle, Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud 1996 ISBN 0-7509-1643-5 A history of radar in the UK during World War II told by the men and women who worked on it.
  • Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne., Pioneers of Radar (1999, Sutton, England) ISBN 0-7509-2120-X
  • Zimmerman, David., Britain's Shield Radar and the Defeat of the Luftwaffe, Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud, 2001., ISBN 0-7509-1799-7

External links[edit]