Texas Towers
The Texas Towers were a set of off-shore radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 facilities used by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 that were modeled on the offshore oil drilling platforms first employed off the Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 coast. The platforms were used for radar surveillance of the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

 near the eastern seaboard of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 from 1958 to 1963.

On January 11, 1954, the USAF approved the construction of 5 Texas Towers as part of the Air Defense System. Only three were built, phased into operation between 1958 and 1960:

Texas Towers - Air defence radars.
Texas Tower 2
Texas Tower 2
Texas Tower 2 is a closed United States Air Force Texas Tower General Surveillance Radar station. It was located east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was in 56 feet of water...

 - Georges Shoal, in 56-foot (17 m) deep water, 110 miles (180 km) east of Cape Cod 41°44′N 67°47′W / 41.733°N 67.783°W / 41.733; -67.783, linked to North Truro Air Force Station
North Truro Air Force Station
North Truro Air Force Station is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located east of North Truro, Massachusetts....

, MA.
Texas Tower 3
Texas Tower 3
Texas Tower 3 is a closed United States Air Force Texas Tower General Surveillance Radar station. southeast of the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts in 80 feet of water...

 - Nantucket Shoals
Nantucket Shoals
Nantucket Shoals is an area of dangerously shallow water in the Atlantic Ocean that extends from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, eastward for and southeastward for ; in places water depth can be as shallow as . Depth soundings are unpredictable due to constant change from strong currents. The...

, in 80-foot (24 m) water, 100 miles (160 km) south-east of Rhode Island 40°45′N 69°19′W / 40.75°N 69.317°W / 40.75; -69.317 , linked to Montauk AFS, Long Island, NY.
Texas Tower 4
Texas Tower 4
Texas Tower 4 is a former United States Air Force Texas Tower General Surveillance Radar station, located south-southwest off the coast of Long Island, New York in of water. The tower was the site of a tragic accident and was destroyed by a winter storm on January 15, 1961...

 - Un-named Shoal (Unofficially: Old Shaky), in 185-foot (56 m) water, 84 miles (135 km) south-east of New York City 39°48′N 72°40′W, (Destroyed, with 28 killed, during a storm on 15 January 1961), linked to Highlands Air Force Station
Highlands Air Force Station
Highlands Air Force Station was a Navesink Highlands military installation in Middletown Township near the borough of Highlands, New Jersey. The station provided ground-controlled interception radar coverage as part of the Lashup Radar Network and the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment network, as...

, NJ mainland station.
Texas Tower ? - Cashes Ledge (Lat. 42° 53'N., Long. 68° 57'W., 36-foot depth), 100 miles east of New Hampshire, not built
Texas Tower ? - Brown's Bank (Lat. 42° 47'N., Long. 65° 37'W., 84foot depth), 75 miles south of Nova Scotia, not built

From a excerpt from "The Emerging Shield" :

"Texas Tower number 4, anchored in 30 fathoms of water, [about 180 feet,] rocked ominously in even moderate seas. Navy underwater survey teams identified and corrected some of the problems found with the supports, but nothing could offset the continual damage below the surface. Hurricane Donna
Hurricane Donna
Hurricane Donna in the 1960 Atlantic hurricane season was a Cape Verde-type hurricane which moved across the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispanola, Cuba, The Bahamas, and every state on the East Coast of the United States...

 battered the tower with 132-mile-an-hour winds and waves in excess of 50 feet, doing enough damage to force the Air Force and its construction contractor to specify February 1, 1961 as the date to begin completely renovating TT-4. A caretaker crew of 14 contractor maintenance workers and 14 Air Force personnel stayed aboard the tower. On January 15, 1961, a fierce winter gale bore in on the hapless station and ripped off all 3 of its legs in succession. Its 28 occupants sank with the platform into the sea; none survived."

With the advent of Soviet ICBMs, the bomber threat was reduced in importance. Thus due to a lower need and the perceived risk, the remaining two towers were decommissioned in 1963 and demolished shortly thereafter. http://www.texastower.com/a_history_in_texas_towers_air_defense.htm

See also

  • Sea-based X-band Radar
    Sea-based X-band Radar
    Sea-Based X-Band Radar is a floating, self-propelled, mobile radar station designed to operate in high winds and heavy seas. It is part of the U.S. Defense Department Ballistic Missile Defense System....

  • Radio propagation
    Radio propagation
    Radio propagation is the behavior of radio waves when they are transmitted, or propagated from one point on the Earth to another, or into various parts of the atmosphere...

  • ACE High
    ACE High
    ACE High was a NATO communications system which dates back to 1956. The system was decommissioned in the late 1980s, and its frequencies reallocated for commercial radiotelephone service. The system was designed to be an L-band troposcatter radio system, which was meant to provide long-range...

     — Cold war era NATO European troposcatter network
  • White Alice Communications System
    White Alice Communications System
    The White Alice Communications System was a United States Air Force telecommunication link system constructed in Alaska during the cold war. It featured tropospheric scatter links and line-of-sight microwave radio links...

     — Cold war era Alaskan tropospheric communications link
  • List of White Alice Communications System sites
  • List of DEW Line Sites
  • Distant Early Warning Line
    Distant Early Warning Line
    The Distant Early Warning Line, also known as the DEW Line or Early Warning Line, was a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic region of Canada, with additional stations along the North Coast and Aleutian Islands of Alaska, in addition to the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland...

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