ALRI System Now Operational at Otis
ENT AFB, COLO. -- A newly devised airborne radar surveillance I system providing better and much faster advanced warning against sneak enemy aircraft attack upon the United States has been accepted and now is in full operation, Lt. Gen. Herbert B. Thatcher, commander of ADC, announced early this month.
The new airborne system, called ALRI (airborne long-range input), is carried aboard huge Lockheed EC-121H radar aircraft hundreds of miles out over the Atlantic Ocean.
The 551st AEW&C Wing at Otis AFB, Mass., a unit of the 26th Air Division, is the only Air Force organization to have this aircraft in operation. Commander of the 551st Is Col. Rudolph B. Walters. The organization also was the first to work with and modify the pilot project before ADC accepted it.
It was pointed out that the new systems are not in new aircraft. The ALRI modification has been made to RC-121D aircraft, which have been used at Otis since 1955. EC-121H is a new designation for the aircraft now filled with the modern electronic equipment but flying the same missions.
The new system made it possible for the Air Force to decide recently that Texas Tower radar stations off the coast of New England could be decommissioned without loss of adequate radar surveillance coverage.
This month's announcement by General Thatcher marked a milestone in the three-year program.
ALRI is an automated means whereby early warning capability of the airborne seaward extension forces of ADC are expeditiously processed and utilized by SAGE system direction centers.
An ADC spokesman said, "in operation the airborne search radar detects targets and feeds this information Into a computer In the aircraft. The computer constructs target messages for-transmission to the ground communications group, also a part of the system. This target information is then fed directly Into the central direction centers of the SAGE system in a matter of seconds." ADC offensive fighters and missiles also at Otis are immediately available to Intercept and destroy the target if necessary.
The Air Force Logistics Command at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, played a major role in development of the ALRI system. The Burroughs Corporation, Paoli, Pa, produced ALRI, as a completed system.
New Otis AF Air Defense Takes Over
OTIS AIR FORCE BASE, Sept. 14 - A new airborne, automated' detection and communications system was announced today by Air Defense Command Lieutenant General Herbert B. Thatcher.
The entirely new concept in semi-automatic air defense extends early warning coverage over the horizon, beyond the range of offshore-based radar and line of sight communications. The new electronics system, known as ALRI - Airborne Long Range Input - attained full Air Force operational status this week following extensive air defense operational testing.
The ALRI system capability was a significant factor in the Air Force's decision earlier this year to discontinue the use of the controversial Texas Towers located off the New England coastline, without the loss of adequate defense radar surveillance.
ALRI aircraft, designated EC-121H is a modified version of the Lockheed Warning Star, RC-121D, which has flown the over- water air defense mission at Otis since 1955.
The 551st AEW and C Wing and its airborne squadrons commanded by Colonel Rudolph B. Walters, maintained continued coastal radar surveillance during the months required to change over to the ALRI EC-121H and to test the unique system tinder actual operational conditions.
The acceptance of ALRI, climaxes a four year Air Force development and testing program.
ALRI TEST AIRCRAFT
Some Material Provided by