In 1949 there was a proposal to develop a tactical control radar to feed data to anti aircraft gun sites. It was intended that the gun sites would be controlled remotely from the AAOR using radar data provided by two new radar sets, a fire control Radar No.3 Mk VII (Yellow River) and a surveillance Radar No.4 Mk VII which was known as Orange Yeoman, supplemented by a new No.11 Predictor. The specification for the Orange Yeoman radar stipulated a detection range of 91.43-km (100,000 yards) up to height of 18,287-m (60,000-ft) and the ability to supply radar information directly to sixteen remote gun sites, using an automatic data transmission system.
Using data acquired by the radar, the predictor was able to calculate target trajectories and feed the information directly to the guns.
Orange Yeoman was eventually trialed at Frodsham AAOR in Cheshire, currently this is the only site at that it is known to have been installed by the Army. When air defence was handed over to the RAF following the stand-down of Anti-aircraft Command, Orange Yeoman became the AMES Type-82 radar and was used as the Tactical Control Radar for the Stage-1 Bloodhound missile system with a prototype at North Coates in Lincolnshire.
The only Orange Yeoman trial site was at Newton, 1.5 miles from the AAOR at Frodsham and six gun sites were selected to take part in the trials they were Crank (MY10), Thurstaston (MY24), Norley (MY39), Flint (MY45), Altcar (MY66) and Penketh (MY76). Two pairs of lines were provided linking each gun site with the Orange Yeoman site at Newton.
The Newton site consisted of the main data handling building (basic data room and tracking groups), five smaller buildings (staff accommodation etc.) and the remotely sited radar head which was approximately 100 yards from the main site. The radar array consisted of a horizontal transmitter aerial with a receiver aerial mounted above it.
The data handling building has been demolished with a hatchery standing on the site. One of the adjacent domestic buildings still stands and has been converted into a private residence. The building that housed the radar head also still stands and is now in industrial use by a company that repairs agricultural machinery.
- Keith Ward