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Battle of Britain

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A.C. Cossor Company, founded in 1908 by Alfred Charles Cossor and forerunner to Raytheon UK, has been central to some of the greatest technological advances in British history. One of the most significant was the Chain Home Radar, the first operational radar system in the world, which helped protect the nation during the Battle of Britain in World War II.

In the mid-1930s, Radio Detection and Ranging, or radar, was in its very early infancy, and A.C. Cossor was selected by the then Air Ministry to build the critical receiving units and operator displays that made Britain’s Chain Home air defence radar system usable.

At the onset of the Battle of Britain in 1940, which marks its 80th anniversary this year, the system included 19 transmitting and receiving stations that provided a protective umbrella from the Shetlands to Land’s End. It also gave the Royal Air Force a precious 20-minute warning to deny the Luftwaffe the element of surprise, and scramble fighter squadrons to meet the enemy unawares – an advantage that undoubtedly aided Britain’s road to victory.

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