RAF Hopton opened on 11th July 1940 as one of the network of Chain Home radar stations around the country. Hopton was a Chain Home Low (CHL) station using Type 13 Mk2, Type 25 and Type 54 radar installations. The site utilised a 200 foot mast (PRO Ref Air 25/681) which was sited on the east coast half a mile south of Hopton On Sea. A duplicate CHL radar installation on a low gantry was sited in the middle of the hutted domestic camp to the north.
CHEL tower at Hopton After the war, the site was chosen to participate in the ROTOR programme mounting a single Type 54 CHEL Mk2 radar installation controlled from an underground single level R2 bunker. Construction work was completed in September 1952 but handing over to the RAF was delayed for 6 months following a fire in the air conditioning plant in January 1953.
Within a few years, it was realised that the ROTOR network, as it stood,was inadequate. With the coming of the H bomb in 1955, the rapid development of ’Green Garlic’ (AMES Type 80) and the arrival of high speed bombers, ’RAF Hopton’ was deemed redundant before the end of the decade.