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Brief Description of AMES Type 70

During the early attacks on Britain by V-1 flying bombs, a new American radar, MEW (Microwave Early Warning) was borrowed from the USAAF and installed at Fairlight.  With the need for the MEW set to be returned to the USAAF, the TRE began construction of a new set to replace it.  This new set comprised a Type 20 aerial turning gear, the aerial and transmitter from a MEW set, a Type 16 modulator and a receiver and displays from various other radar types.  In this guise it was given the designation Type 26 and went into service at Fairlight on 26 August 1944.  On 22 September 1944 HQ 2nd Tactical Air Force requested new radar equipment to meet its offensive needs capable of detecting a Mosquito sized aircraft at 100 miles range at 10,000 ft and with both good low and high coverage.  At the same time it requested a new type of mobile radar station that woul centralise the Group Control Centres with its Fighter Director Posts and early warning and reporting stations into a single entity.  A modified Type 26, together with a suitable control infrastructure was considered to be the ideal solution and TRE designed a mobile version composed of 30 vehicles which was designated Type 70. 

The first station was completed in 13 weeks and it reached No 83 GCC at Erp on 23 January 1945 and was erected nearby, with the transfer of operations taking place on the night of 28/29 January.  Initial problems with the stations own radar equipment meant it had to rely on plots from Nos 15053 and 15054 FDPs.  It eventually moved across the Rhine on 9 April and set up at Enktar, near Osnabruck on 11 April before moving to Schneverdingen between Celle and Hamburg on 22 April.  By the end of April the only aircraft it was tracking were Fieseler Storch communications aircraft carrying senior personnel attempting to escape to an area of safety, the last such interception being made on 5 May, five minutes before the end of hostilities.  It remained operational as a navigational aid to Allied aircraft in the Schleswig Holstein area.

A second Type 70 station arrived at No 84 GCC on 6 May 1945 and after setting up at Wesendorf, became operational on 14  May to provide navigation aid to aircraft in Celle-Hannover area.

A breakdown of these vehicles is given below: -

Vehicle l - Plan position reporting vehic1e.  Contained four B-scan indicators on first equipment, four Display Units 69 on the second, six Display Unit 69 or Display Units 70 on 1ate stations.

Vehicle 2 - Plan position reporting and information generator ve1icle.  Contained two Display Units 69 on the first and second equipments, but these (or Display Units 70 in place of them) have been moved to Vehicle I on later equipments leaving Vehicle 2 as a purely technical vehicle. All Information from the plan position aerials is fed to the information generator, which in turn feeds all p1an position indicator displays.

 Vehicle 3 - Height reporting vehicle, containing one 12-inch cathode ray tube, height display and one 12-inch plan position indicator. The height display is fed direct with signals from the AMES Type 13 aerial vehicle No 12. The PP1 displays plan position signals from the information generator and acts as a reference display for 1aying-on the height-finding aerial in azimuth.

Vehicle 4 - Controllers vehicle, containing two Display Units 69 or 70 and located inside the operations tent.

Vehic1e 5 - Opposite hand version of Vehicle 4, located inside operations tent.

Vehicle 6 Height reporting vehicle exactly similar to Vehicle 3, but working in conjunction with the second AMES Type 13 height-finder, Vehicle 13.

Vehicle 7 Office vehicle for intelligence liaison officers and located inside the operations tent.

Vehicle 8 - Opposite hand version of Vehicle 7 for Combat and Planning officers and located inside the operations tent.

Vehicle 9 - Telephone exchange vehicle.

Vehicle 10 Low-angle cover plan position aerial vehicle.

Vehicle 11 High-angle cover plan position aerial vehicle.

Vehicles 12 and 13 AMES Type 13 height-finding aerial vehicles, working in conjunction with Vehicles 3 and 6 respectively.

Vehicle 14 Workshops vehicle.

Vehicle 15 Used only on the first two equipments as a carrier for the plan position aerials when the station was in Convoy. On later equipments, the reflectors are carried on the aerial vehicles themselves.

Vehicle 16 - Cable carrier. Mounted with cable drums to carry all cables over 100 yards in length when the station was in convoy.

Vehicle 17 - Stores and Technical office vehicle.

Vehicle 18 - 180V. 500 cps power supply vehicle. This power is supplied to all tour, transmitters in the aerial vehicles so that they operate synchronously.  Mutual ground-ray interference is thereby eliminated.

 In addition to these vehicles nine 20 kVA. 230V 50 Cps generator vehicles are included, three of which are used as standbys. The Operations Room is housed in a very large tent, and this together with the Operations Room furnishings, is carried in three 3-ton general purpose vehicles.

The diagram below shows the layout of the large tent housing the Operations Room: -

Diagram showing Type 70 AMES layout


Position Duty Position Duty
1 Chief Controller 15 Height and Tote Liaison Operator
2 Assistant Controller 16 Recorder
3 Operations 'B' 17 Height Reader
4 Group Liaison Operator 18 Azicator Operator
5 Crew Chief 19 General Situation Tote Operator
6 Movement Liaison Officer 20 Group Teller
7 Movement Liaison Clerk 21 Senior Interception Controller
8 Teleprinter Runner 22 Junior Interception Controller
9 Radar Supervisor 23 Interception PPI Reader
10 Radar NCO 24 Interception Navigator
11 Report PPI Reader 25 Fighter Plotter
12 General Situation Plotter 26 Triangulator Plotter
13 General Situation NCO 27 Squadron State Board Operator
14 Group Plotter 28 'Y' Liaison Clerk
Positions 10, 11, 17 and 18 are not shown on the diagram

The above is taken from 'Signals Volume 4, Radar in Raid Reporting' produced by the Air Historical Branch in 1950.

This page was last updated on 11/09/20

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