20th August 2021
RAF Gibraltar is set to replace its existing radar equipment according to a planning application filed with the Town Planner.
The radar equipment will be located where the exiting tactical air navigation system, commonly referred to by the acronym TACAN, is within Rock Gun.
The existing infrastructure is unable to be used and therefore a new 11.8 metre structure is required.
According to the application, the new purpose built tower incorporates an equipment cabin that will house the radar equipment cabinets and associated ancillaries.
The cabling from the antenna will run down the new tower structure. The radar antennas will be housed within a white radome similar to the existing radar installation and the new radar structure will be installed on the existing TACAN installation.
The application added an analysis showed this system has the highest radar ‘Safe Working Zone’ safety level achievable.
“The general public is safe at zero metres from the radar and the radio electric impact is zero at all categories at ground level at this distance.”
“This is the highest safety level achievable. The site is protected by a perimeter fence with a healthy margin of safety and there is no risk to the public.”
“The risk to wildlife due to exposure to RF energy emitted by the Radar is considered extremely improbable. The wildlife would have to be directly in line of the radar beam and within 5.9m metres of the radar antenna as it rotates for a sustained period of time.”
The proposed works include the ground works for the installation of a new tower foundation, ground works for the connections of a new power cable, erection of the new five meter steel tower, installation of the new antennas onto the new tower, installation of a radome including obstruction lighting and lightning finials, installation of the radar equipment including ancillary equipment within the new cabin, and installation of radar feeder/power cables from the new antennas into the equipment.
The new radome is white in colour and the tower will be of grey steel colour. The cabin is likely to also be white in colour.
The only permanently illuminated lights on the radar site will be low intensity red obstruction lights on the top of new tower structure to comply with aviation safety requirements.
An application for a new fence around Rock Gun has also been filed with the Town Planner. Permission is being sought to remove the existing security fence in sections while constructing a new fence ensuring no breach of security. The new fence will be three meters high with barbed wire on top. The fence post will be constructed from hot dipped galvanised steel and polyester powder and the panels from galvanised super security pattern expanded metal sheets with a polyester powder coated finish.
In addition, a new main access gate will be installed, measuring three meter wide by three meter high. These double gates are to be manually operated.