RRH Buchan

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RRH Buchan
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Near Boddam, Aberdeenshire in Scotland
Remote Radar Head Nr Longhaven - geograph.org.uk - 184713.jpg
Radar dome at RRH Buchan.
RAF Buchan badge.jpg
Au Courant
(French for Fully informed or Up-to-date)
RRH Buchan is located in Aberdeen
RRH Buchan
RRH Buchan
Shown within Aberdeenshire
Coordinates 57°27′30″N 001°48′43″W / 57.45833°N 1.81194°W / 57.45833; -1.81194Coordinates: 57°27′30″N 001°48′43″W / 57.45833°N 1.81194°W / 57.45833; -1.81194
Type Remote Radar Head
Site information
Owner Ministry of Defence
Operator Royal Air Force
Controlled by No. 1 Group (Air Combat)
Radar type Lockheed Martin AN/TPS-77
Site history
Built 1952 (1952)
In use 2004 – present
Garrison information
Occupants Radar Flight (North)

Remote Radar Head Buchan or RRH Buchan is an air defence radar station operated by the Royal Air Force. It is located at Stirling Hill, 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) south of Peterhead on the Aberdeenshire coast of North East Scotland.

The unit is based at the operations site of the former RAF Buchan which downgraded from an RAF station to a remote radar head (RRH) in September 2004.


RAF Buchan[edit]

Masts at RRH Buchan.

RAF Buchan opened in 1952 as an Air Defence Radar Unit. As part of the UK Air Surveillance and Control System, the station was one of two Control and Reporting Centres (CRC) which monitored air traffic in and around UK airspace. RAF Buchan was parent station to remote radar heads at Saxa Vord and Benbecula.[1]

RRH Buchan[edit]

In May 2000 the Ministry of Defence announced the downgrading of RAF Buchan from a manned station to a remote radar head. The measure resulted in the loss of 55 civilian jobs and the transfer of over 200 RAF personnel. Around 92 military and civilian personnel were expected to remain to operate the remote radar head.[2] The radar unit ceased to be a RAF station on 1 September 2004 and the operational part of the station became Remote Radar Head Buchan.[3] The separate domestic accommodation site located in Boddam was sold by the Ministry of Defence to a private developer.[4]

Buchan's Type T92(B3) radar (more widely known out-with RAF service as the Lockheed Martin AN/FPS-117 ) was replaced in 2015 with a new Lockheed Martin AN/TPS-77 system. The new radar was funded by wind farm developers and was installed in order to help reduce the impact of interference from wind turbines.[5][6]

In 2017 the unit's radome was replaced over a six week period, the existing enclosure having been installed in 1984.[7]


RRH Buchan operates a Lockheed Martin AN/TPS-77 long-range surveillance radar. It collects data as part of the UK Air Surveillance And Control System (ASACS) based at RAF Boulmer and supports the creation of the recognised air picture for the United Kingdom.[6][8]

Radar Flight (North) of the ASACS Engineering & Logistics Squadron based at RAF Boulmer has command and control of RRH Buchan and ensures its operational availability.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RAF Buchan". Royal Air Force. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  2. ^ "Cuts strike at RAF base". BBC News. 16 May 2000. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Radar Flight". RAF Boulmer. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  4. ^ "Master plan hope for former RAF Buchan air base near Peterhead". BBC News. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Minutes of the Aviation Management Board Meeting - 17 July 2015" (PDF). GOV.UK. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Sudbry, Amy (24 February 2014). "MOD radar upgrades: Buchan and Benbecula". Pager Power. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "New radome at RRH Buchan". Buchan Observer. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "Radar Flight North". RAF Boulmer. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 

External links[edit]