U.S. Military Radar Sites
Help using Google Maps

The Full Screen control in the upper righthand corner of the Google Maps display expands the display to cover the entire computer screen. This full-screen feature is not available on Apple IOS devices like the iPad.

You can exit out of full screen by pressing the Escape key or clicking the control in the upper righthand corner of the display.

Map Satellite Labels

The Map/Satellite control in the upper lefthand corner of the screen lets you choose either the normal map view or the satellite view. The satellite view allows you to see the actual military facility when you zoom in. You can choose to turn Labels on or off. The labels are the names of places, businesses, cities, etc. that appear on the map. You can turn off the labels if they obstruct your view.

Map Satellite Terrain

When you select the Map view, you can turn on terrain features by clicking or touching the Terrain box. This will show things like mountain ranges, similar to looking at a relief map.


You can zoom in and out in a few ways. The lower righthand corner of the Google Maps display has a plus sign and a minus sign that controls zooming. If you're using a mouse with a scroll wheel, the wheel controls zooming. If you're using an IOS device like an iPhone or iPad, double-tapping the display zooms in but tapping does not zoom out.

Most touch screen devices will zoom by pinching the display with two fingers.

When markers are close together and overlay one another, the blue markers that indicate currently active radars will always be on the top of the heap.


current radarsRadar   Gar fillerGap filler   Space fenceSpace fence   AerostatAerostat   Picket shipPicket ships   Deactivated radarsDeactivated  

The blue markers indicate current radars owned and operated by the military. The red markers indicate radars that are either no longer in opearation or have been transferred to a civilian authority, such as the FAA.

Photo credits

In the radars map, clicking a marker reveals a pop-up window that may contain a thumbnail image. These images come primarily from these sources:

We're trying to make these pages display pleasingly on small screen devices so we're keeping text to a minimum in the pop-ups. In the future, we'll have these thumbnail images link to the full size image on the websites where they were found.

The material on the U.S. Military Radar Sites pages is educational and is not sold. It meets the requirements of Fair Use under U.S. Copyright law.

Picket ships

radar picket ship

The DEW line was extended using ships with radar. These were converted Liberty ships that could detect large aircraft such as bombers up to 220 nautical miles (410 km; 250 mi) away.

There were a total of sixteen ships—eight on the East Coast and eight on the West Coast. They were based out of Newport, Rhode Island (later Davisville, Rhode Island) and Treasure Island, California. They patrolled between 400 and 500 miles off of the U.S. coast.

Radar picket ships were used during WWII, but they're not shown on the map. One such use is described in Radar Pickets and Methods of Combating Suicide Attacks Off Okinawa

Picket aircraft

From February 1960 to April 1965, the U.S. Navy flew Airborne Early Warning (AEW) missions over the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. Lockheed WV-2 (EC-121K) Warning Star aircraft were used. This was the military version of the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation passenger airliner.

The missions extended the DEW Line radar coverage south and to the east to cover the approaches between Greenland, Iceland, and the United Kingdom (GIUK Gap) barrier.

U.S. Navy Lockheed WV-2 (EC-121K) Warning Star aircraft

Picket blimps

From the mid-1950s to 1961, blimps were used to provide gap filler radar coverage in the North Atlantic Ocean.

A version of the N-class blimp was fitted with AN/APS-20 radar with the antenna installed beneath the gondola. An AN/APS-69 height-finding radar antenna was mounted on top of the blimp. These had the designation ZPG-2.

A later version designated ZPG-3W had its larger (42-foot) radar antenna built inside the helium-filled envelope.

N-class blimp as radar picket

ALC Press has a page on WWII LTA bases.

Space fence

From 1961 to 2013, the U.S. Air Force operated a ground-based radar network that detected objects in space passing over the United States. It's name was Air Force Space Surveillance System or simply Space Fence. The network consisted of separate transmitter and receiver locations. The transmitters were located at:

  1. Lake Kickapoo, Texas
  2. Gila River, Arizona
  3. Jordan Lake, Alabama
The receivers were located at:

  1. San Diego, California
  2. Elephant Butte, New Mexico
  3. Red River, Arkansas
  4. Silver Lake, Mississippi
  5. Hawkinsville, Georgia
  6. Tattnall, Georgia


A new space fence is now being built


Wikipedia: Distant Early Warning Line

Wikipedia: Lashup Radar Network

Wikipedia: SAGE radar stations

Wikipedia: Lashup Radar Network

Wikipedia: RBS Express

DEWLine Museum

The DEW Line Coordinating Committee

Nuclear War Targets in Canada

ADC Historical Data, 1946-1973

Wikipedia: N-class blimp

Goodyear N-Class blimps

Guarding the Cold War Ramparts

Wikipedia: Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star

A History of the DEW Line 1946-1964