Carnforth firm completes major contract for government air defence systems

LARS Communications has recently completed the design, fabrication and installation of two radar towers for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

By Nick Lakin
Tuesday, 9th February 2021, 3:45 pm

The Warton based company said the towers - located at Remote Radar Head Brizlee Wood and RRH Buchan - are part of a vitally important upgrade to UK air defence systems.

Following a successful tender process, LARS was awarded the contract in June 2020.

Unlike some of the structures LARS has been tasked with designing and installing, the brief from the FCDO was very different.

The tower at Brizlee Wood.

The tower itself would need to stand at only five metres in height, but with a diameter of 23 metres, as well as a 12x5 metre access platform.

The circular tower was required to support the 15 metre high radome, which would house the radar equipment.

It would also be home to a mobile elevating works platform, an essential component should any maintenance be required to the radar equipment itself.

Working alongside their design partners, Southampton-based MFD Communication Infrastructure, LARS submitted the initial design for consideration.

Warton based LARS Communications won the contract to build the radar towers.

Upon receipt of instruction from the FCDO, LARS and MFDCI completed a detailed design and calculations package, which ultimately won them the contract.

Ian Turner, managing director of LARS Communications, said he was delighted with the outcome of the project.

He said: “This was a really exciting project for everyone involved.

"From the initial designs to the final installation, the team has been fantastic.

One of the towers under construction.

"Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, RRH Brizlee Wood has recently been completed and we expect to apply the finishing touches to the tower at RRH Buchan early in 2021.

"This project was vitally important to the UK’s air defence system, so the team can feel very proud of their achievements.”

LARS acted as principal contractor on the project, overseeing the initial design stages, before manufacturing the steelwork, the assembly and ultimately the installation.

All of the steel used in the tower installation is UK sourced to the required specification.

Before the tower assembly, the steel is galvanised to ensure it is resistant to corrosion in a wide variety of environments.

LARS was also responsible for the full design and build including foundations, reinforced concrete and installation of the earthing and lightning protection system.

Once manufactured the steelwork was transported to the site and assembled in situ. Any cranes, MEWPs and work platforms required were hired from local suppliers.

These planned upgrades are hugely important to the production of the Recognised Air Picture, which RRH Brizlee Wood and RRH Buchan use to provide real-time information on potential air threats to UK Airspace.