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|Near Lochmaddy, Outer Hebrides in Scotland|
Shown within the Outer Hebrides
|Type||Remote Radar Head - Type 92
(Air Defence Solid State Radar)
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Maximum range||600km (375 Miles)|
|Elevation||127 metres (417 ft) AMSL|
RRH Benbecula operates a Type 92 long range surveillance radar, at Cleitreabhal a'Deas (NF750716) on North Uist. The radar, designed and built by Lockheed Martin is almost identical to the AN/FPS-117 radar used by the USA. Whilst versions of the AN/FPS-117 are capable of detecting ballistic missiles the Type 92 does have this capability but is only used for detecting aircraft. A separate receiver site is situated at Benbecula Airport, on the Isle of Benbecula. They input into the UK Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS). The radar site also accommodates several types of VHF and UHF ground-to-air transmitters.
A Remote Radar Head is a radar station which is monitored and controlled from a remote location. Formerly under the command and control of RAF Buchan, RRH Benbecula came under the command and control of RAF Boulmer in September 2004. RRH Benbecula's equipment is still maintained by RAF technicians.
Military personnel have had a presence on the islands, once called RAF Benbecula, since the Second World War. At its peak, several thousand troops were stationed at the base and several other sites around the islands.
The following units were based at the airfield at some point:
- No. 36 Squadron RAF.
- No. 179 Squadron RAF.
- No. 206 Squadron RAF.
- No. 220 Squadron RAF.
- No. 304 Squadron RAF.
- No. 455 Squadron RAF.
After the Second World War, the aircraft were withdrawn. The RAF continued operating from Benbecula, operating several radar types until the Type 92 came into service in the 1980s. The radar site was a manned radar station and a Control and Reporting Post for UK Air Surveillance, until it was converted to remote operation in the late nineties and the RAF pulled out of the main site at Benbecula.
The British Army also had a huge presence at Benbecula, operating an artillery range on South Uist. This role was passed to the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (eventually to become QinetiQ), who remain at the Benbecula and South Uist sites.
- Jefford, C.G, MBE, BA, RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.