EISCAT is a project presented by scientists from Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom for establishing a new incoherent scatter facility in the northern part of Scandinavia. The initial constraints and choices introduced by the scientific purpose of high latitude ionospheric studies are recalled and the general characteristics of the facility are described. The facility involves a multistatic system in the UHF range and a monostatic system in the VHF range. Tromsø, Norway, at a geomagnetic latitude corresponding to L = 6.3 at the ground, is the main axis of the measurements. Remote stations are located at Kiruna, Sweden, and Sodankyla, Finland. Some design concepts related to the capabilities of pulse-coded modulation of a powerful UHF transmitter and others related to new types of receiving antennas are described. The expected performance of the facility is evaluated and compared with desirable performance criteria and with those of other existing or proposed facilities.