RAF Fylingdales

RAF Fylingdales

We are Watching

The Station badge appropriately shows the White Rose of York surmounted by a Viking Fire Warning Basket. In ancient times these baskets could be found all along the East coast of England, mounted on vantage points such as church towers and hilltops. They were lit as soon as invading forces were sighted out at sea so that the local population could be warned of attack.


RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire provides a continuous ballistic missile early warning service to the UK and US Governments, ensuring a surprise missile attack cannot succeed.

As a key part of the Allied Space Surveillance Network, the Unit also monitors objects in space that can easily resemble incoming missiles when re-entering the atmosphere. 

The Station also supports the United States' developing Missile Defense System.

Approximately 350 Service Personnel, Military Police, and civilian staff work at RAF Fylingdales.



Portrait of Wing Commander Darren Whiteley in uniform

Wing Commander Darren Whiteley BSc (Hons) PGCE MA RAF

Wing Commander Darren Whiteley was born in Middlesbrough and joined the RAF in February 1998, commencing Fighter Control training in October 1998.

Darren deployed on Operation HERRICK in support of the US, he was the initial deployment commander. Upon return from HERRICK duties he was promoted to Squadron Leader undertaking numerous deployments including Iraq, Afghanistan and Al Udeid.

On promotion to Wing Commander he was responsible for providing politically aware military advice to form MOD policy on NATO and EU issues. He assumed command of RAF Fylingdales in August 2016.


RAF Fylingdales, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7NT.

Council: Ryedale District Council. Families' accommodation is Scarborough Borough Council.


  • 1963 - RAF Fylingdales was declared Operational with the iconic three golf balls on the Moors.
  • 1992 - The Solid State Phased Array Radar was declared operational to replace the golfs balls.


The Ballistic Missile Early Warning System was a partnership between the United States of America and the United Kingdom to provide radar coverage to counter intercontinental ballistic missile attack.

The early 1960s saw two stations completed and become operational at Thule in Greenland and Clear in Alaska. To complete the radar coverage for the United States and to provide advanced warning it was decided to build a third station in England.

The site on the North York Moors was selected and construction work began in 1960. The construction of the iconic golf balls was completed and the site became operational in September 1963. However, with advances in technology the radar system was upgraded in 1990 and the Solid State Phased Array Radar was declared operational in October 1992. 

Connect with RAF Fylingdales

Using Internet Explorer 8? Please switch to using Chrome if you can.