This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (December 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Langanes Air Station
Air Defense Command.png
 
85th Group.png
Part of Air Forces Iceland
Langanes AS is located in Iceland
Langanes AS
Langanes AS
Location of Langanes Air Station, Iceland
Coordinates66°16′44″N 014°59′37″W / 66.27889°N 14.99361°W / 66.27889; -14.99361 (Langanes AS H-2)Coordinates: 66°16′44″N 014°59′37″W / 66.27889°N 14.99361°W / 66.27889; -14.99361 (Langanes AS H-2) (H-2)
66°08′39″N 015°05′18″W / 66.14417°N 15.08833°W / 66.14417; -15.08833 (Langanes AS H-2A) (H-2A)
TypeAir Force Station
Site information
Controlled by United States Air Force
Site history
Built1952, 1992
In use1952–1960, 1992–2006
Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap  Download coordinates as: KML

Langanes Air Station (ADC/NATO ID: H-2/H-2A) is a closed United States Air Force General Surveillance Radar station. It is located 265 miles (426 km) northeast of Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland. The new station (H-2A) was closed on 28 June 2006 as part of the closure of United States military facilities in Iceland.

History

Langanes Air Station (H-2) was established in 1951, shortly after the return of United States military forces to Iceland. The site was operated by the 667th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, and was equipped with AN/FPS-3 and AN/FPS-20 radars.

The Greenland, Iceland and United Kingdom air defense sector, better known as the GIUK gap, was routinely utilized by the Soviet Union's long-range heavy bombers and maritime reconnaissance platforms as a transit point towards the Atlantic Ocean. From bases located at Archangel and Murmansk, Soviet aircraft would stream down to the North Cape in Norway towards the Gap which was use as a doorway to the vast Atlantic. Most of the Soviet missions were destined to probe United States’ air defense along the North Atlantic and after 1960 in the Caribbean where Cuba, the USSR's most important satellite state outside continental Europe, was located. Such was the perceived threat from the Soviet incursions that it became a priority for NATO to demonstrate to that the strategic Giuk passage would be monitored at all times.

In January 1961, the H-2 search radar bubble was blown down during a storm. The site was closed as a radar base and the 667th AC&W Squadron was moved to Hofn Air Station (H-3), where it replaced the 933d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. (note: the original site was used for several years as a communications site and for submarine detection)

In 1992 "Langanes Air Station" was re-opened at a new site (H-2A) at Gunnolfvikursfjall, located 15km to the southwest on a cliff along the coast. The 667th Air Control Squadron operated an AN/FPS-117v5 radar from that site until 2006, when the station was closed.

The original H-2 site today is abandoned, long since left to the elements. Some foundations remain however the location is desolate and windswept. The AN/FPS-117 radar tower remains at the H-2A site, but it is unused.

See also

References

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website https://www.afhra.af.mil/.