Saturday, March 3, 2012

Menwith Hill eavesdropping base undergoes massive expansion | The Guardian

Menwith Hill
The radar domes of RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

America's largest eavesdropping centre in Britain, Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, is being expanded in a multimillion-pound programme as it becomes increasingly vital to US intelligence and military operations, according to a study of the controversial base released on Thursday.

The base, which plays a key role in the global network of the National Security Agency (NSA), GCHQ's American partner, now includes 33 radomes – commonly called "golf balls" after the white sheeting protecting the satellite receiving and transmission stations – and is undergoing a big construction programme.