Essex: Marconi ‘prototype’ radar system lasts 30 years

A NEW multi-million pound dual-channel radar system is being installed at Southend Airport, significantly improving radar coverage for the airport and the South East region.

The new ATCR-33SE from Selex, the most up-to-date supplied by the company and one of only four of its type currently installed in the UK, replaces the a system delivered by Marconi in 1982.

Marconi, for many years a major employer in Chelmsford, supplied the current S511 system as a prototype of then-new technology

Southend Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “The Marconi primary radar has served the airport extremely well over the last 30 years, and must be among the longest-serving prototypes in aviation history. It also has an unblemished record.

“But times are changing here at London Southend, and I am very excited by the arrival of the new Selex system and its enhanced surveillance technologies. With the growth planned at the airport, having this new technology at the heart of our operation means we are in safe hands.”

The new radar system, due to go live in March, is part of an extensive investment at Southend Airport by its new owner, Stobar Group.