SCR-270 Early Warning Radar

Photograph of SCR-270 radar

U.S. Army


Wavelength 300 cm
Pulse Width 10-25 microsecond
Pulse Repetition Frequency     
621 Hz
Power 100 kW
Range 140 miles
230 km
Resolution 50 feet
15 meters
Production: 794 sets from 1939 to 1944

The SCR-270 was a mobile early warning radar. Five of the SCR-270B model were deployed on Oahu at the time of the Pearl Harbor raid, and another was operating at Iba in the Philippines. A set was delivered to Henderson Field at Guadalcanal, where it gave the Wildcats just enough warning of Japanese raids to climb to combat altitude.

The Iba set fell into Japanese hands and was shipped to Japan for further study. It gave the Japanese some of their first indications that they had fallen seriously behind in radar technology.

Photograph of SCR-271 radar

U.S. Army

The SCR-271 was a less expensive ($35,000 vs. $55,000) fixed version of the SCR-270 that required considerably more effort to set up. Five of the sets were in Alaska by the time war broke out. Two sets sent to the Philippines and three sent to Oahu were not yet set up when the Japanese struck.


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