The History of the Air Intercept Radar and the British Nightfighter 1935-1959, Hardback

The History of the Air Intercept Radar and the British Nightfighter 1935-1959 Hardback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This is the history of Air Intercept (AI) radar and its use in night-fighters in defence of the UK and in the protection of RAF bomber forces.

It is set against the political, military, economic and technological background of world events.

Beginning in 1935, it describes the events leading up to the creation of the Air Ministry Research Establishment and the work of the Establishment's Airborne Group under Dr Edwin Bowen and the building of the first 1.5 metre AI Mk 1 and later versions that saw use during the winter Blitz in Blenheim night-fighters and Mosquito during the Baedeker Raids. It covers the introduction of centimetric technology at the Telecommunications Research Establishment and the creation of centimetric AI (Mks VII - IX) and their installation in the Beaufighter and later marks of the Mosquito. It describes the creation of the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the development the SCR 720 radar and its adoption by the RAF.The final section describes the Cold War and the development of jet-powered night-fighters and the changes in the air defence situation with the introduction of strategic bombers by the Soviet Union and the atomic bomb.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224 pages, 45 B&W photos and diagrams
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Air forces & warfare
  • ISBN: 9781844155323



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A technical history of British air intercept radar and nightfighters from the first experiments to the introduction of the Javelin FAW. It deals mainly with the technical details of the equipment itself and the aircraft that were carrying it. If you like engineering and development aspects, this is the book for you. Relatively little is said about operations, and the organisation of the air defence, although there are a lot of maps showing deployment and equipment of RAF nightfighter squadrons at various times between 1940 and 1959. It covers in depth the defence of Great Britain, through the Blitz, the Baby Blitz, V-1 and the Cold War. However, next to nothing is said about nightfighters in other theatres.