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The military acronym for the 1960's radar-based Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, used to keep watch on the Soviet Union for a possible missile launch directed at the U.S. It worked by "looking" out over the top of the world by using the most powerful radar ever developed. The system -- operated by the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) -- was based at three huge sites, located in Thule, Greenland; Clear, Alaska; and Fylingdales, England.

A monumental technical achievement for the 1950s, the multi-billion dollar BMEWS program was obsolete just a few years after it went operational, as satellite servelliance took over the chores of spying on the Soviet enemy by the close of the 1960s.
BMEWS was a hot part of the cold war.
by bmews May 10, 2012
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