Fort Meade radar station

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For the fort's Nike Missile site & MIM-23 Hawk mobile batteries which included guidance radars, see Ft Meade missiles.
Army Air Defense Command Post (AADCP)
military command and control facility
Country United States
State Maryland
County Philadelphia Defense Area
Installation Fort George G. Meade
Command Army Air Defense Command
Parts 1957: AN/FSG-1
1966: AN/TSQ-51
Nearest city Baltimore, Maryland
Location AADCP
Site # W-13DC

The Fort Meade radar station was a Cold War military site with several sets of radar equipment in various Army and USAF radar networks. The site operated c. 1950 until 1979 and had a Project Nike command post and radar network.

Lashup site L-14[edit]

Site L-14 of the temporary Lashup Radar Network was the ground-controlled interception radar station established at Fort George G. Meade until the radar's[specify] surveillance area was covered by a Quantico AFS radar in 1955. The Fort Meade radar station also had the first experimental AN/GSG-2[clarification needed] Antiaircraft Defense System in 1955.[1]

ARAACOM site W-13DC[edit]

In 1957 the Fort Meade station was designated an Army Air-Defense Command Post (AADCP) for the Washington-Baltimore Defense Area.[2] The site had the first operational Martin AN/FSG-I Antiaircraft Defense System, a fire distribution center for Nike Missiles and which was operated by the 35th Antiaircraft Artillery Brigade.[3] Designated W-13DC, the site had an AN/FPS-67 search radar and later a solid-state Hughes AN/TSQ-51 Air Defense Command and Coordination System.[4] After the 1950 Army Anti-Aircraft Command (ARAACOM) was renamed in 1957, Fort Meade became the Headquarters, 2nd Region, Army Air Defense Command.

ADC site RP-54[edit]

On October 1, 1961, W-13DC was integrated[clarification needed] with the Aerospace Defense Command network as replacement site RP-54 operated by the USAF's 770th Airborne Control and Warning Squadron that transferred from former site P-54 at Palermo Air Force Station, New Jersey. Site RP-54 became part of the 1957 Washington Air Defense Sector) with an interface with the DC-04 SAGE system direction center at Fort Lee Air Force Station (inactivated March 1, 1983).

NORAD site Z-227[edit]

On July 1, 1963, the station was redesignated as site Z-227 (Palermo AFS re-opened as site Z-54), and the USAF unit was renamed the 770th Radar Squadron assuming control of the AN/FPS-67 and installing one each AN/FPS-6 and AN/FPS-6B height-finder radars by 1962. In 1964 an AN/FPS-90 replaced Meade's AN/FPS-6B, and the AN/FPS-6 was shut down; while in 1966 the AN/FPS-67 was upgraded to an AN/FPS-67B.[5][verification needed]

In addition to an annex at the former Manassas Air Force Station,[6] the Fort Meade radar station had unmanned AN/FPS-14 Gap Filler annexes at Hermanville, Maryland (RP-54A/Z-227A, 38°13′40″N 076°24′33″W / 38.22778°N 76.40917°W / 38.22778; -76.40917 (RP-54A)) and Hanover, Pennsylvania (RP-54B/Z-227B, 39°51′28″N 076°56′52″W / 39.85778°N 76.94778°W / 39.85778; -76.94778 (RP-54B)).[citation needed] The Washington AADCPs at Suitland & Ft Meade were deactivated on September 1, 1974; and USAF air defense operations at Ft Meade ended October 1, 1979 (a plan to use the site in the 1983 Joint Surveillance System was not implemented).[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bender, Donlad E (December 1999). "The Pedricktown Missile Master Site, 1960-1966" (FDU.edu website). Quarterly Newsletter (Salem County Historical Society). Retrieved 2011-09-06. "A prototype system produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps during 1950 eventually led to the deployment of the experimental Antiaircraft Defense System (AN/GSG-2) at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, during 1955. ... First deployed at Fort George G. Meade during 1957, the nine million dollar Missile Master system was eventually installed at over a dozen locations within the Continental United States." 
  2. ^ Winkler, David F (1997). Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command. 
  3. ^ "Missile Master News Release-1" (transcript). United States Army. December 5, 1957. Retrieved 2011-09-03. 
  4. ^ Cole, Merle T. "Army Air Defense Installations in Anne Arundel County: 1950-1975". Nike Missiles. FTMeade.Army.mil. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  5. ^ Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (yeartbd). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980. Peterson Air Force Base: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. 
  6. ^ "Information for Fort Meade, MD". Radomes.org. Retrieved 2011-09-02.