The finalized AR-88 was a 14 tube superheterodyne that covered .54 to 32MC in six tuning ranges, featuring incredible sensitivity (even up to 10 meters), excellent stability and high fidelity audio along with mechanical and electronic reliability that couldn't be found in any other receivers of the day. Fowler while George Blaker handled the mechanical design.
The Lend-Lease Act of October 1941, allowed the USA to supply materiel to our Allies in exchange for permission to build and operate bases in the allied countries or territories.
The AR-88 was used extensively in Great Britain during WWII for varied purposes.
Many of the Allies required coverage of the LF and MF parts of the spectrum and the AR-88LF was created for that service, providing coverage from 70kc to 550kc continuous and 1.5mc to 30mc continuous.
KPH operator, Fred Baxter, flanked by two RCA CR-88 receivers and a Collins 51J-4 receiver.
The CR-88 receivers were the workhorses for Radiomarine Corp.
of America's radio station KPH during the late forties, through the fifties and even into the sixties.
Photo from KPH History website: greatest communications receiver creation was the AR-88, a receiver that achieved its renown by providing top performance and high reliability in service as a surveillance and intercept receiver during WWII and later as a "workhorse" for the RCA and Radiomarine Corporation of America coastal stations, usually in triple diversity receivers that provided world-wide ship-to-shore message handling.
RCA's AR-88 planning may have chronologically followed their AR-77 ham receiver but the AR-88 owes much of its design concept as a replacement for RCA's aging commercial-military receiver, the AR-60.
The AR-60 had been introduced in 1935 and was still being built as late as 1940.
RCA had to update their "cost no object," highly reliable military/commercial product and the AR-88 was the result.
Design stages probably date from as early as 1939 and the demands of WWII in Europe pushed RCA into having the AR-88 ready by early 1941.