THE STATION

RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire provides a continuous ballistic missile early warning service to the UK and US Governments, ensuring a surprise missile attack cannot succeed.

As a key element of the Space Surveillance Network, the Station is capable of tracking objects 3000 miles into space. Live tracking of satellites, including the International Space Station, is a regular occurance 365 days a year 24/7. Other objects that come within our field of view include space debris, parts of rocket bodies and old satellites no longer active. 

Approximately 320 Service Personnel, Ministry of Defence Police, and civilian staff work at RAF Fylingdales.

RAF Fylingdales falls under UK Space Command, the Defence lead for space operations, space workforce, and space capability.

Read more on UK Space Command

We are Watching

The Station badge shows the White Rose of York surmounted by a Viking Fire Warning Basket.

Commander

Wing Commander Thomas Colledge MSc RAF

Thom Colledge grew up in Holland and joined the RAF in 2002 as an Air Operations specialist. Thom has worked as an airfield operations manager at busy RAF Stations including, RAF Valley, RAF Benson and RAF Lyneham, he brings a wealth of experience to the role of Station Commander that includes a number of operational deployments to Afghanistan working with the Army and Special Forces. 

As a fluent French speaker, Thom was selected to undertake Advanced Staff College at l'Ecole de Guerre in Paris prior to a 3-year exchange tour as an operational planner within the French MOD. 

KEY DATES

  • 1963 - RAF Fylingdales was declared Operational with the iconic three golf balls on the Moors.
  • 1992 - The Solid State Phased Array Radar was declared operational to replace the golfs balls.

HISTORY

The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System was a partnership between the United States of America and the United Kingdom to provide radar coverage to counter intercontinental ballistic missile attack.

The early 1960s saw two stations completed and become operational at Thule in Greenland and Clear in Alaska. To complete the radar coverage for the United States and to provide advanced warning it was decided to build a third station in England.

The site on the North York Moors was selected and construction work began in 1960. The construction of the iconic golf balls was completed and the site became operational in September 1963. However, with advances in technology the radar system was upgraded in 1990 and the Solid State Phased Array Radar was declared operational in October 1992. 

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