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Air Ministry Experimental Station

For other uses, see Ames (disambiguation).

AMES, short Air Ministry Experimental Station, was the name given to the Air Ministry's radar development team at Bawdsey Manor in the immediate pre-WWII era. Although the team would be forced to move on two occasions, changing names as part of these moves, the AMES acronym became the basis for naming Royal Air Force radar systems through the war. The same numbering sequence was used after the war as well, but generally dropped the AMES from the name. A good example is the Type 80, which was officially an AMES type, but rarely appears with that marque.


  • AMES Type 1, Chain Home (CH) - Early Warning
  • AMES Type 2, Chain Home Low (CHL) - Early Warning, LOW altitude
  • AMES Type 3, Type 1 and Type 2 operating in close proximity
  • AMES Type 4, Overseas Chain Home, also known as Intermediate CO or CO/ICH
  • AMES Type 5, Chain Overseas Low (COL)
  • AMES Type 6, Light Warning Set
  • AMES Type 7, Final static Ground-controlled interception (GCI) station (Happidrome)
  • AMES Type 8, Various marks of GCI radars, mobile and semi-static
  • AMES Type 9, Mobile Chain Home
  • AMES Type 10, Mobile Air Transportable System
  • AMES Type 11, Mobile sets as possible standby should 1.5 m CHL/GCI be jammed
  • AMES Type 12, Low Frequency transportable Chain Home Low.
  • AMES Type 13, 10 cm "Nodding" Height Finder. Transmitter and Receiver of Naval Type 277 - Marconi
  • AMES Type 14, 10 cm surveillance radar - Marconi
  • AMES Type 15, GCI radar, mobile version of Type 7
  • AMES Type 16, Fighter Direction Station
  • AMES Type 17, Fighter Direction (abandoned)
  • AMES Type 18, CHL/GCI Modified Type 11 Mk2 (H) with height finding (abandoned)
  • AMES Type 19, GCI Final Standby Type
  • AMES Type 20, Decimetric Height Finder
  • AMES Type 21, Tactical Control. Five vehicle GCI convoy - Marconi
  • AMES Type 22, GCI / COL (similar to AMES Type 11)
  • AMES Type 23, LOMAN Overseas LORAN system
  • AMES Type 24, Long range 10 cm Height Finder
  • AMES Type 25, Experimental CHL
  • AMES Type 26, GCI British version of American MEW (Microwave Early Warning)
  • AMES Type 27, Air Transportable GCI
  • AMES Type 28, CMH Air transportable Height Finder
  • AMES Type 29, CHEL (Chain Home Extra Low) Air transportable (abandoned)
  • AMES Type 30, CD (Coast Defence) / CHL (Admiralty only)
  • AMES Type 31, CHEL CD in wooden hut
  • AMES Type 32, CHEL CD - Nissen hut - none built
  • AMES Type 33, CHEL CD - brick built
  • AMES Type 34, CHEL CD 200 ft tower
  • AMES Type 37, CHEL CD
  • AMES Type 40, CD/CHL
  • AMES Type 41, CHEL
  • AMES Type 42, CHEL
  • AMES Type 43, CHEL
  • AMES Type 44, CHEL
  • AMES Type 46, CHEL
  • AMES Type 47, CHEL
  • AMES Type 48, CHEL
  • AMES Type 50, CHEL
  • AMES Type 100, 20-80 MHz Transponder-based navigation system - GEE-H
  • AMES Type 700, 1.7-2.0 MHz Hyperbolic navigation system - LORAN
  • AMES Type 7000, 30-60 MHz Hyperbolic navigation system - GEE ground station
  • AMES Type 9000, 200 MHz transponder-based navigation system - Oboe Mk I ground station - Oboe Mk III, S band

Mobile units

Mobile radar units, usually consisting of COL, GCI, or similar equipment, mounted in vehicles, was used extensively overseas, and these units received numerical designations preceded by 'AMES', e.g., AMES 1505 - one of the units providing GCI coverage of the Naples sector during the Allied invasion of Italy.[1]

Fighter Direction Tenders

Three Landing Ship, Tank (LST) were converted into "Fighter Direction Tenders" (FDT), swapping their landing craft for Motor Launches[2] and outfitted with AMES Type 11 and Type 15 fighter control radar to provide GCI coverage for air defence of the D-Day landing areas. Of these ships, HMS FDT 216 was stationed off Omaha and Utah beaches, HMS FDT 217 was allocated Sword, Juno, and Gold beaches. HMS FDT 13 was used for coverage of the overall main shipping channel. In the period 6 June to 26 June Allied fighters controlled by the FDTs resulted in the destruction of 52 enemy aircraft by day, and 24 enemy aircraft by night.[3]


Post World War II in addition to the AMES Type XX designation new equipment was also allocated a Rainbow Code name during development, e.g., AMES Type 86 was allocated the code name Blue Anchor. In addition, the manufacturing company, Ferranti, had its own internal and marketing name for the equipment, in this case, Firelight.

  • AMES Type 80, 2.850/3.050 GHz 1 MW S-Band Early Warning radar - a.k.a. Green Garlic - Plessey - high performance system made ROTOR obsolete
  • AMES Type 82, 3 GHz 3D Early Warning and tactical control radar for Bristol Bloodhound - a.k.a. Orange Yeoman - Marconi
  • AMES Type 83, 4 GHz/10 GHz mobile tactical control radar for Bristol Bloodhound 1 - a.k.a. Yellow River, Stingray - BTH, later Marconi
  • AMES Type 84, 1.2 GHz 2.5 MW L band surveillance radar - Marconi
  • AMES Type 85, 2.75/3.2 5 GHz, 54 MW - improved high-power version of AMES Type 82 - a.k.a. Blue Yeoman, Linesman - AEI, later Marconi
  • AMES Type 86, 10 GHz mobile CW target illuminator radar for Bristol Bloodhound 2 - a.k.a. Blue Anchor, Firelight - Ferranti
  • AMES Type 87, 3 GHz 600 kW - Blue Joker balloon-borne Early Warning radar, cancelled 1960 - Type No. later applied to Bloodhound Mk 2 guidance control system a.k.a. Scorpion
  • AMES Type 88, 1.3 GHz/3 GHz Tactical Control/Surveillance radar - used in conjunction with AMES Type 89 - pair a.k.a. Green Ginger - Marconi
  • AMES Type 89, 3 GHz Tactical Control Height Finder - used in conjunction with AMES Type 88 - pair a.k.a. Green Ginger - Marconi
  • AMES Type 90, 1.3 GHz 3MW Early Warning/Fighter Control radar, Martello prototype, only one built - Marconi
  • AMES Type 91, 1.3 GHz 132 kW Early Warning/Fighter Control radar - a.k.a., Martello - Marconi

See also


  1. ^ Linden, R. F. (2014). "The Italian Campaign: The Invasion of the South of France, 1943–1945" (PDF). Canadians on Radar: Royal Canadian Air Force 1940–1945. Robert Quirk's Home Page. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Rottman, Gordon L.; Bryan, Tony & Sarson, Peter (2005). Landing Ship, Tank (LST) 1942-2002. Osprey Publishing. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-84176-923-3. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Macaulay, Horace R. (2014). "Ground Controlled Interception Radars In Operation Neptune/Overlord" (PDF). Canadians on Radar: Royal Canadian Air Force 1940–1945. Robert Quirk's Home Page. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  • Bragg, Michael (1988). RDF1 The Location of Aircraft by Radio Methods 1935-1945. Paisley: Hawkhead Publishing. ISBN 0-9531544-0-8.  The history of ground radar in the UK during World War II
  • Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne (1996). Radar A Wartime Miracle. Stroud: Sutton Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7509-1643-5.  A history of radar in the UK during World War II told by the men and women who worked on it.

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