RAF Spadeadam
Cumbria
2022
Covering an area of 9000 acres (36 km2) of Cumbrian moorland and scattered pine forests, RAF Spadeadam is the largest RAF base and the only Electronic Warfare Tactics Range (EWTR) in the UK. The Range established in 1976 is designed to enable realistic Electronic Warfare training for aircrew. It is utilised by the RAF and other NATO Air Forces.
Mystère IV-A pair.
T-33A Shooting Star group.
'Colinski' dummy airfield, at its centre is a line of six former Adl'A Mystère IV-As.


The EWTR employs a range of equipment that emit signals that appear to aircrews as threat radars. The threat systems consist of Short Range Air Defence (SHORAD) systems, Surface to Air Missile systems (SAM) and Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) radars. A mock airfield known as 'Colinski' with triangular shaped runways has been constructed using bull-dozers. It contains visual targets consisting missile sites, military land vehicles and obsolete aircraft. Aircrew have to evade the simulated electronic threats to carry out their mission. The aim is to achieve "world class operationally-representative electronic warfare training and trials facilities to UK and Allied military personnel, wherever and whenever required.", said RAF Spadeadam commanding officer, Wing Commander Matt Lawrence in a 2020 interview.
Wg Cdr Lawrence detailed the array of electronic equipment they operate; A full NIIP/Vympel 2K12 Kub (NATO reporting name SA-6 Gainful) low/medium range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system.
Two Znamya Truda Plant 9K33 Osa (NATO reporting name SA-8 Gecko) low-altitude SAM systems.
A MMZ ZSU-23-4 self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) system.
An Oerlikon Contraves/Rheinmetall Skyguard X-band ground-based fire control radar.
Additionally, the facility uses a US Dynamics Corporation AN/MPS-T1/43 simulator. The AN/MPS-T1/43 can mimic the transmissions of the radars equipping the Laochkin S-75 Dvina (NATO reporting name SA-2 Guideline) high altitude/long-range SAM system.
These radars include P-12 (NATO reporting name Spoon Rest-A) very high frequency ground-based air surveillance radars and SNR-75 (NATO reporting name Fan Song) S-band fire control radars. The AN/MPS-T1/43 may also simulate the IRL13/P-15 (NATO reporting name Flat Face-A) ultra-high frequency ground-based air surveillance radar and PRW-11 (NATO reporting name Side Net) S-band height-finding radars equipping the S-75's regimental headquarters.
By networking these systems they provide a very dense electromagnetic environment to allow the simulation a sophisticated integrated air defence system.

The aircraft scattered around the dummy airfield and beyond include; former Belgian AF T-33s, former Adl'A Mystère IV-As and a former East German Su-22. Each jet has very faded markings revealing old codes, painted over serials and even a Russian star on some of the tails. They also have applied codes; 'AC1' to 'AC12' and 'SU1' for the Sukhoi.

Colinski dummy airfield
At the end of one of the triangular aligned 'runways' are two former Adl'A Dassault Mystère IV-As.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (64 '8-NO' marked 'AC1'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air in 1979 and transferred to the USAF and to Spadeadam in August 1981.
RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Mystère IVA (64 '8-NO' marked 'AC1').
RAF Spadeadam
Facing down the 'runway' as though its about to launch.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Mystère IVA (64 '8-NO' marked 'AC1').
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Mystère IVA (64 '8-NO' marked 'AC1').

RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (61 '8-MI' marked 'AC2'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air in 1979 and transferred to the USAF and to Spadeadam in August 1981.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Mystère IVA (61 '8-MI' marked 'AC2').
RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Mystère IVA (61 '8-MI' marked 'AC2').
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Mystère IVA (61 '8-MI' marked 'AC2').

RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (FT06 marked 'SovAF 10' 'AC12') with Belgian Air Force till 1977, transferred to USAF and Spadeadam in March 1980.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: T-33A Shooting Star (FT06 marked 'SovAF 10' 'AC12').

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (FT07 marked 'SovAF 18' 'AC11') with Belgian Air Force till 1978, stored at Prestwick to Spadeadam in February 1980.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: T-33A Shooting Star (FT07 marked 'SovAF 18' 'AC11').

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (FT10 marked 'SovAF 11/77' 'AC6') with Belgian Air Force till 1979, stored at Prestwick to Spadeadam in February 1980.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: T-33A Shooting Star (FT10 marked 'SovAF 11/77' 'AC6').
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: T-33A Shooting Star (FT10 marked 'SovAF 11/77' 'AC6').

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (FT11 marked 'SovAF 80' 'AC5') with Belgian Air Force till 1979, stored at Prestwick to Spadeadam in March 1980.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (282 '8-NW/8-MW' marked 'AC3'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air in 1983 and transferred range at Cazaux and later to Spadeadam.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (207 '8-MG/8-NS' marked 'AC4'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air in 1982 and transferred to USAF and later to Spadeadam.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (81 '314-ZU' marked 'AC9'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air and transferred to USAF and later to Spadeadam.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (139 '8-MR/8-MD' marked 'AC10'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air and transferred to RAF Upper Heyford in 1981 and later to Spadeadam.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (184 '8-NU' marked 'AC7'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air by 1981 and transferred to USAF in 1982 and on to Spadeadam in 1999.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Dassault MD.452 Mystère IVA (180 marked 'AC8'). Withdrawn by the Armée de l'Air and transferred to USAF in 1981 and on to Spadeadam in 1999.

RAF Spadeadam
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Sukhoi Su-22M-4K 'Fitter' (98+10 marked 'SU1' former NVA 820) retired with German Air Force with WTD-61 Test and Evaluation Centre in 1991. Transferred to Test & Evaluation at Boscombe Down and on to Spadeadam.
RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam RAF Spadeadam
Left to right: Sukhoi Su-22M-4K 'Fitter' (98+10 marked 'SU1' former NVA 820).

Wiley Sike
RAF Spadeadam
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (FT02 marked 'SovAF 12') with Belgian Air Force till 1978, stored at Prestwick in 1979 to Spadeadam in March 1980.