U.S. Navy Radar Picket Ships
1955 - 1965


USS Lookout - AGR-2


Source: http://www.yagrs.org/

In the 1950's the US Navy was assigned the task of extending the DEW Line seaward. To accomplish this task the Navy looked for a ship that would offer a stable platform for all of the electronics and radar that would be needed to be carried aboard ship.

The type of ship decided on was World War II Liberty Ships, the best type would be the box-aircraft type (Z-ECS-S-C5).

In 1954 the conversion of these ships started. This new class of ship would be called the Guardian Class and they would be classified as YAGR. At the end of these conversions in 1959 there would be sixteen (16) of these ships - eight (8) homeported at Treasure Island, CA, and eight (8) at Davisville, RI.

After these conversions the ships did not change their outward appearance much, except for their distinct radars - one of which was a special SPS-17A antenna designed specifically for these ships. However the interior was something else. The most powerful and modern air and surface radars and communications equipment were installed; as not only would these ships extend radar coverage seaward, they would track and direct aircraft, report weather conditions and numerous other task.

The DEW Line Patrol
Ocean Radar Station Ships

Click above for article from the April 2002 edition of Sea Classics magazine

NORAD Radar Systems

From http://www.classypages.com/searcher/main.htm


AN/SPS-17A Search Radar

AN/SPS-8 Height-Finder Radar

Click the link below for photos & notes on individual ships.


AEW Picket Ship Locations

AEW - Picket Ship Locations, 30 Nov 1961
Pacific Locations
Location # Latitude (N) Longitude (W)
AEW-1 48 25' 128 50'
AEW-3 44 50' 128 00'
AEW-5 39 45' 127 30'
AEW-7 35 40' 125 30'
AEW-9 32 10' 122 10'
PS-1 50 30' 136 00'
PS-3 45 30' 135 30'
PS-5 40 30' 133 50'
PS-7 35 30' 131 50'
PS-9 31 00' 128 30'
PS-AUG 27 30' 124 30'
Atlantic Locations
Location # Latitude (N) Longitude (W)
AEW-2A 41 30' 064 20'
AEW-6 38 15' 062 20'
AEW-8 36 10' 064 40'
AEW-10 35 00' 068 15'
PS-12 40 50' 063 00'
PS-14 38 00' 065 50'
PS-16 39 00' 070 00'
PS-18 36 00' 071 00'
PS-20 34 00' 073 40'

Source: ADC Control & Warning Equipment Report, RCS: AF-1120, 30 Nov 1961 (U)
AEW designates Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft orbit locations
PS designates Navy Picket Ship patrol stations


AEW - Picket Ship Maps

Atlantic

Pacific

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