Site Name: RAF Murlough Bay ('URB') CHEL R11 ROTOR Radar Station
OS Grid Ref: ID 213407
Sub Brit site visit 31st May 2006
The final stage of the ROTOR
Programme (Rotor 3)
was to provide radar cover for the north and west of the British Isles
which were still exposed to attack and to give low and surface level
cover over the Atlantic, the absence of which prevented effective action
against low flying enemy aircraft. Three new CEW
stations were to be built at Aird
Uig, Faraid Head and
Saxa Vord equipped with Type
80 Mk 2 and Type
13 radars. The new CEW
operations buildings were to be above ground, heavily built and designated
R10, similar in internal layout to the underground R1 bunkers.
R11 operations block at RAF Murlough Bay
Photo by Nick Catford
that The ROTOR 3 programme would be complete by 1957 and all technical aspects were
classified as 'Super Priority'. Until they were completed arrangements were made to use mobile equipment in an emergency.
Type 14 Search Radar (not Murlough Bay) |Rotor 3 included five new Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL)
stations equipped with Stage 1 radar equipment to enable detection and
tracking of low flying aircraft. (Stage 1 comprised Type
7 Early Warning [E/W] GCI , Type
14 E/W search radar E/W or Fighter Control [CEW station], Type
13 H/F and a Type 15 [mobile Type 7] - radars from this list were
installed as required) The proposed stations were at Kilchiaran,
Murlough Bay, Prestatyn, Snaefell and West
Myne (demolished). These were to be heavily built operations blocks,
designated R11; the above ground version of an R2 bunker.
Two new GCI stations were also proposed as part of the Rotor 3 programme, each equipped with a Type 80 radar and R8
ops block. One at Ballywooden (Killard Point) in Northern Ireland
and the other at Wick on
the Scottish east coast. It was hoped
The ROTOR 3 programme necessitated some changes in the Control and Reporting organisation. The CEW stations at Aird Uig, Saxa Vord and Faraid Head and the Chain Home stations at Sango and Netherbutton would come under a new Sector to be known as the Sector of the Isles with an SOC to be established at Inverness (not built). Additionally a new sub-sector of Western Sector was to be established in Northern Ireland to control the air defence units in the area including the new GCI at Killard Point, the existing CH station at Castle Rock and the new CH station at Murlough Bay.
The map shows the technical site (right) and the VHF receiver site (RX) and transmitter site (TX) at Crockanore 1.5 miles to the north west of the technical site.
at ID187415 at Crockanore one and a half miles west of the technical site. There were
to be no married quarters or camp with personnel being billeted in hotels in
|The site chosen for RAF Murlough Bay (Rotor code URB) was a green field site on a plateau overlooking the sea one and a half miles south west of Murlough Bay on the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. An above ground R11 technical block was chosen because
of the adverse weather conditions; a prefabricated R8 SECO block would
have been the preferred option. Two radars were to be provided, one
Type 14 Mk. IX search radar on a gantry and one Type 13 Mk. VII height finder on a plinth. A standby
set house was to be located alongside the technical block. The station was to be equipped with six 60A consoles, one 61 console and two video map un its. The proposed completion date for the station was April 1956.
A 'small' VHF transmitter block with a 90' tower was to be built at
ID191413 with a 'small'
VHF receiver block with a 90' tower
Type 13 Height Finder (not M/ Bay)
Photo:The standby set house along side the R11 technical block. This design of building is exclusive
to all the R11 Rotor stations.
Photo by Nick Catford
the large outlay, the station had a very short operational life being reduced to inactive status by 1958.
For further information and pictures of RAF Murlough Bay
Last updated 15th December 2007
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