26th – At 1100 hours the Fleet were in position 57-36N, 03-18E, steering 285¼, with Swordfish from the ARK ROYAL patrolling above the Fleet. At this time three large aircraft were sighted, later identified as Luftwaffe Dornier 18D flying boats. The enemy aircraft were shot down or driven off by Skuas from ARK ROYAL, but not before they had sent off a sighting report.
At approximately 1345 hours RODNEY's Type 79Y radar reported two or three groups of aircraft, nine He 111 and four Ju 88 bombers, at approximately 80 miles and closing. RODNEY kept the CinC HF informed of the incoming attack by flag signals. Even so the Fleet was unprepared for the attack; RODNEY felt that her radar reports had not been taken seriously.
At 1420 hours the fleet was subjected to an air attack in which the ARK ROYAL was near missed by a 1000kg bomb dropped by a He 111.
During the attacks all the heavy ships opened fire with both long and close range weapons but their fire was ineffective.
(my bold and underlining)
The 79Y set was installed on Rodney in October 1938 from what I read. Was this radar so capable? I thought 80 miles sounded incredible - so I googled it and Wiki says 30-50.