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AN/FPS-24 Search Radar

The Frequency Diversity Radar program was a major radar developmental program at RADC. Some of the prototypes developed as part of it included the AN/FPS-26, the AN/FPS-27, the AN/FPS-28, and the AN/FPS-35, in addition to the AN/FPS-24 frequency diversity radar. This equipment was designed to succeed existing Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) radar systems, which had served as the backbone of air defense of the CONUS, in order to provide enhanced electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) capability. General Electric built an FD search radar designed to operate in the Very High Frequency (VHF) at 214 to 236 MHz. There were problems with this radar at the test site at Eufaula, Alabama, in 1960. These problems required many modifications. Additional problems occurred when deployment was attempted in 1961. When the radar finally deployed, bearing problems often occurred due to the eighty-five ton antenna weight. Twelve systems were built between 1958 and 1962. The AN/FPS-24 radar, utilizing a hydrostatic bearing, became operational in the SAGE system on 30 June 1968. The development of the bearings was the work of Goodyear Aerospace, under contract with RADC.

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