Major infrastructure project planned for RAF Menwith Hill
Last updated Jan 14, 2022
RAF Menwith Hill. Photo credit - Wikimedia.
Photo credit - Wikimedia

A major five-year project to upgrade infrastructure at RAF Menwith Hill is planned.

The Ministry of Defence’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) this week appointed a consortium of building consultants, Mace, Turner & Townsend and Atkins, as a delivery partner for the United States Visiting Forces (USVF) Infrastructure Programme.

Few details have been made public about the programme other than it will involve “upgrading existing facilities and building new ones” at the base in Nidderdale as well as RAF Fairford in Gloucester.

Steve Rix, DIO programme director, said the programme would help the US military “execute missions” from the UK.

“I am pleased to welcome our delivery partners to the DIO USVF Infrastructure Programme team and look forward to working with them to ensure we continue to support our USVF customers’ needs, enabling them to execute missions from their bases in the UK.”

The Stray Ferret asked the MOD how much the project will cost and what upgrades are planned but we did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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Built in the 1950s on the edge of Nidderdale, Menwith Hill is one of the United States’ largest overseas surveillance base. Giant radomes, or ‘golf balls’, are a distinctive feature of the site.

Harrogate Borough Council has approved several planning applications in recent years to expand the base. A council report said this reflected the “increasingly wide-ranging and technologically sophisticated surveillance apparatus” built up at the base.

A report published in October 2021 alleged the base provided intelligence for the high-profile US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in 2020.

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