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RAF PORTLAND

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ROTOR STATION 'NIB'
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The site of Portland centimetric early warning radar station. It was built between 1950 and 1951 as part of the Rotor programme to modernise the United Kingdom's radar defences and was one of eight examples built across the country. Rotor technical sites comprised radar arrays, a small electrical substation, an operations building and a guardhouse, and were linked by roads and tracks. Portland was equipped with two Type 14 (Mark 8 and 9) plan positioning radar heads, two Type 13 Mark 6 and one Type 13 Mark 7 height finding radar, one Type 54 Mark 3 low-level radar and one AN/FPS3 array for long-range radar. The radar heads were all mounted on plinths or 25 feet gantries apart from the Type 54 radar, which was mounted on a 200 feet tower. Portland featured a non-standard guardhouse designed to resemble a bungalow and built of Portland stone, which gave access via a lift and staircase to a single-storey, underground R1 operations block. The bunker contained the control centre for the Rotor site and was divided into a number of working areas including workshops, radar offices, an intercept recorder and tracking room, domestic facilities, and a plant for air conditioning and gas filtration. The station was non-operational by 1958 and had been reduced to care and maintenance. Surviving surface features at the site include six radar plinths, an emergency exit blockhouse, a communications mast, and the gatehouse.

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