RCAF Station Foymount
RCAF Station Foymount (1952-1974) - A Cold War Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station first established in 1952 as 203 RCAF Radio Station Foymount, Ontario, Canada. Became operational later in 1952 as 32 AC&W Squadron (RCAF). The name was again changed to RCAF Station Foymount in 1954 and with the reunification of forces became CFS Foymount on 5 Oct 1967. Initially assigned a Permanent ID of C-3. Abandoned in 1974.
Foymount was established in 1952 as a Pinetree Line radar site and became operational on 1 Sep 1952 manned by the 32 AC&W Squadron reporting to the No. 3 Air Defence Control Centre (ADCC), located at RCAF Station Edgar. No. 3 ADCC also coordinated the operations of:
The station initially had both a Ground-Control Intercept (GCI) and early warning misssion. The early warning mission involved tracking and identifing all aircraft entering their airspace while the GCI mission involved guiding Air Force interceptors to any identified enemy aircraft. Controllers at the station vectored fighter aircraft at the correct course and speed to intercept enemy aircraft using voice commands via ground-to-air radio.
The original configuration of radar equipment included one FPS-3 search radar and two ISG-98 height-finders. The FPS-3 was mounted atop the four-story main operations building and the two ISG-98 height-finders were mounted on two separate towers flanking the main building. The ISF-98 height-finder antennas were designed to rotate synchronously with the FPS-3 antenna providing two slant beams for height detection (they did not nod). Difficulties with the ISG-98 led to the installation of two TPS-501 height-finders on the sides of the main building.
In 1955 a GPA-37 analog flight direction computer was installed for trials. In 1956 an FPS-6 height-finder was installed on a separate tower and became operational on 17 Sep 1956. In 1959 the rubber radome on this tower was changed out for a rigid radome and the radar was modified to become an FPS-6A on 11 Jul 1959. The TPS-501 backup height-finders were removed and stored in the towers in 1959.
On 10 Mar 1960, the FPS-3 search radar was taken out of service for the final stage of conversion to the FPS-508 (Canadian version of the FPS-20) and on 24 Mar 1960, the FP-508 went operational and became the primary search radar. The rubber radome that had covered the FPS-3 was removed and the new rigid radome was installed over the FPS-508 and accepted on 20 May 1960. A second height-finder was installed and accepted on 24 Oct 1960. The second height-finder was an FPS-507 (the Canadian version of the FPS-6.)
With the changes in 1960, the site radar equipment was prepared and configured for the coming SAGE System operation.
The transition of the manual GCI system to the automated SAGE system began with the installation of the FST-2 coordinate data transmitter and search radar upgrades. The FST-2 equipment digitized the radar returns and transmitted the digital returns to the SAGE direction center. Under the SAGE System, interceptor aircraft were directed to their targets by the direction center computers and controllers, greatly reducing the need for local controllers and equipment at every radar station.
The FST-2 was a very large digital system using vacuum tube technology. Over 6900 vacuum tubes were used in each FST-2 requiring 21 air-conditioned cabinets, 40 tons of air conditioning, 43.5 kva of prime power, and usually a large new addition to the operations building. The FST-2B modification added two more cabinets but with newer solid-state (transistor) technology to process coded responses from aircraft transponders.
The SAGE System annex building was completed in the back of the main operations building and the FST-2 was installed by the contractors. The site began operation as a SAGE site in October 1963 feeding the North Bay SAGE Direction Center DC-31.
By 1970 the vacuum FST-2 was obsolete and unsupportable. The solid-state replacement FYQ-47 Common Digitizer and the companion GPA-124 were installed in June and July of 1970. By September 1970 the installations were complete.
In November 1970 Foymount began conducting several different formal training courses on the FYQ-47 and the GPA-124 equipment for personnel at locations that were receiving the equipment. These courses continued to operate through October 1973 when the announcement was made that Foymount CFS would stop operations on 1 Apr 1974.
Four gap-fillers were planned for Foymount, one was built but it never became operational.
In October 1973 it was announced that the radar station would stop operations on 1 Apr 1974 and close on 1 Oct 1974.
The physical plant of the site was divided into the main site, a cantonment area, a housing area, and a radio site. The main site housed the operations buildings, the radar towers, and the backup generators. The cantonment area housed the enlisted barracks, the bachelor officer's quarters, the orderly room, the dining hall, the motor pool, and other support buildings. Apart from the main site was a housing area for married personnel. Initially, a radio transmitter site and a separate radio receiver site were located on/near the main site. The SAGE System required a separate Ground to Air Transmitter/Receiver (GATR) radio site that housed the radio equipment for directing aircraft intercepts from the SAGE System.
Abandoned in Foymount, Ontario.