Radar platforms for the FCDO

Location:Alnwick and Peterhead


Service:Fabrication and Installation of Structures

LARS Communications has recently completed the design, fabrication and installation of radar platforms for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Two platforms were required, one at RRH Brizlee Wood and one at RRH Buchan.

RRH Brizlee Wood RRH Buchan

RRH Brizlee Wood and RRH Buchan are air defence radar stations operated by the RAF in Northumberland and Aberdeenshire respectively.  The radar platforms are part of a vitally important upgrade to UK air defence systems.


LARS Communications was the principal contractor on the project, engaging Hampshire-based MFD Communication Infrastructure Limited (MFDCI) as design consultants.

The teams were tasked with the initial platform design, required to support a 15-metre high radome, which would house radar equipment and a mobile elevating works platform (MEWP). This was an essential component should any maintenance be required to the radar equipment itself.

Upon approval of the design of the radar platform, LARS managed the civil works, steelwork supply, assembly and, ultimately, the installation of the radar platforms at each site. Each platform stood at five metres in height, with a diameter of 23 metres, as well as a 12 x 5 metre access platform

Scope of works:

  • Initial designs phase – design report, structural arrangement, foundations drawings and steelwork drawings
  • Completion of a detailed design and calculations package upon approval of initial designs
  • Secure the site work area – barriers / hoarding etc
  • Ground preparation – levelling, setting out etc
  • Excavate for new foundations
  • Remove any subsurface structures, cabling and the like
  • Install reinforced concrete foundations for tower, demountable platform, staircase and all associated structures
  • Steel fabrication phase – main platform, access platform and staircase. All steel is UK sourced to the required specification
  • All steel is galvanized to ensure it is resistant to corrosion in a wide variety of environments
  • Delivery of steelwork to RRH Brizlee Wood and RRH Buchan
  • Assembly of 23m diameter tower, 12x5m demountable platform, access staircase to platform level (including handrails and non-slip treads)
  • Install opening with hoist 500kg and demountable davit, trap door and pop-up safety handrails
  • Supply fit and fix lightning protection for steel tower, and demountable tower
  • Make good ground surface under the tower and platform with 200mm thick compacted hardcore, laid on geotextile membrane
  • Landscape around tower base


This was a really exciting project for everyone involved. From the initial designs to the final installation, the teams from LARS, with invaluable support from MFD Communication Infrastructure, Stephens and Stuarts Engineering and JRC, have been fantastic. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, RRH Brizlee Wood and RRH Buchan were both completed within the allotted time frame and on budget.

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