The History of Air Intercept Radar & the British Nightfighter 1935–1959

Ian White

Date Published :
October 2007
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
45 b/w photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781844155323
Pages : 340
Dimensions : 10 X 7 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock. Available in 6-8 weeks
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781399014434
Pages : 340
Dimensions : 9.7 X 7.4 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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This is the history of Air Intercept (AI) radar and its use in night-fighter aircraft in defense 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 meter 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 cent metric technology at the Telecommunications Research Establishment and the creation of cent metric 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 defense situation with the introduction of strategic bombers by the Soviet Union and the atomic bomb.

About The Author

Ian White, BA(Hons) Hist, IEng, AMRAeS is an engineer who spent much of his career involved in UK air defence and in retirement gained an Hons Degree. He has previously published a history of No 604 Squadron. He lives in Martlesham Heath near Ipswich.


"an outstanding combination of the many aspects involved with air intercept radar… the author is very successful in blending technical, operational and military aspects of the subjects into a very interesting book."

- Air Power History, Winter 2008

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