A.C. Cossor Company, founded in 1908 by Alfred Charles Cossor and forerunner to Raytheon UK, has been central to some of the greatest technological advances in British history. One of the most significant was the Chain Home Radar, the first operational radar system in the world, which helped protect the nation during the Battle of Britain in World War II.

In the mid-1930s, Radio Detection and Ranging, or radar, was in its very early infancy, and A.C. Cossor was selected by the then Air Ministry to build the critical receiving units and operator displays that made Britain’s Chain Home air defence radar system usable.

At the onset of the Battle of Britain in 1940, the system included 19 transmitting and receiving stations that provided a protective umbrella from the Shetlands to Land’s End. It also gave the Royal Air Force a precious 20-minute warning to deny the Luftwaffe the element of surprise, and scramble fighter squadrons to meet the enemy unawares – an advantage that undoubtedly aided Britain’s road to victory.

Related Links

Royal Air Force museum logo

Royal Air Force Museum

Online Exhibitions: Discover the diverse contribution made to the defence of this country by RAF heroes.

Read more
Raytheon UK Cossor

Our History

From the pioneering days of cathode and X-ray tubes, to today's most advanced global capabilities, read our history.

Read more