General Electric AN/CPS-6 Radar

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General Electric AN/CPS-6 Radar
Country of origin United States
Type Medium-range search/height finder
Other Names AN/CPS-6, 6A, 6B

The AN/CPS-6 was a medium-range search/height finder Radar used by the United States Air Force Air Defense Command.

The AN/CPS-6 was developed during the later stages of World War II by the Radiation Laboratory at MIT. The first units were produced in mid-1945.

General Electric developed and produced the A-model and subsequent B-model at a plant in Syracuse, New York. The unit consisted of two antennas. One of the antennas slanted at a forty-five degree angle to provide the height-finder capability.

Initially, the radar was designed to detect fighter aircraft at 100 miles and 16,000 feet. The radar used five transmitters that operated at S-band frequencies ranging from 2700 to 3019 MHz. It took twenty-five people to operate the radar.

An AN/CPS-6 radar was installed as part of the Lashup Radar Network at Twin Lights, New Jersey, in 1949 and proved capable of detecting targets at ranges of eighty-four miles. The first units of the follow-on 6B radar set were ready for installation by mid-1950. Fourteen 6B units were used within the first permanent network.

A component designed to improve the radar's range was added in 1954. Initial tests showed the 6B unit had a range of 165 miles with an altitude limit of 45,000 feet. One radar unit and its ancillary electronic equipment had to be transported in eighty-five freight cars. The Air Force phased out the 6B model between mid-1957 and mid-1959.

The AN/FPS-10 unit was essentially a stripped down version of the AN/CPS-6B. Thirteen of these units served within the first permanent network.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • AN/CPS-6 @
  • 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.