First Naval Air Intercept Radar 1941Waring Hills Aug 01, 2011
Beginning on 01 August 1941 a specially modified Lockheed Electra XJO-3 had an AI-10 microwave radar installed for airborne testing. The radar was developed by Radiation Laboratory from MIT and flight tests were made out of Boston Airport. The radar included a PPI (Plan Position Indicator) for display and during testing aircraft were detected at a range of 3.5 miles and ships at 40 miles. The tests were concluded on 16 October and results were used in developing operational radars such as the ASG for K-type airships and the AN/APS-2 for patrol aircraft.
The first successful naval shoot down of an enemy aircraft at night would be achieved on 26 November 1943 by Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare in his F-6F Hellcat. He was flying in tandem with a Grumman TBF Avenger equipped with an air intercept radar. Despite his successful intercept and shoot down, he was lost in the night action west of Tarawa.