41. Balado Bridge, Kinross. (NO 094 028)
A NATO "golf ball" style satellite communications installation,
on the site of a former naval airfield. The satellite communications
system in Balado enables long-distance secure broadcasts between
NATO forces using the NATO IV satellite system. This function is
also an integral element of the US Air Force's Defence Satellite
Communications System, which can provide the means necessary for
the effective implementation of worldwide military communications.
The NATO IV satellite is the same design as the Ministry of Defence's
Skynet IV satellite, the next generation of which is being constructed
by Paradigm Secure Communications. Skynet 5 will provide military
satellite communications services to all three Services of the UK
Armed Forces and is expected to come into service in 2005. In 2002
there were more than 5 Ministry of Defence Police officers stationed
at Balado Bridge.
The Balado Bridge installation was linked to the command centre
at Pitreavie by microwave transmitter. The functions at Pitreavie
were transferred to Faslane in the mid-1990s and it is possible
that a microwave link between Balado and Faslane is in operation.
242 Signal Squadron from Edinburgh provide host nation support to
the NATO installation, which is manned by soldiers from the Royal
Corps of Signals.
Balado Bridge is probably better known to a generation of young
Scots as the venue for the 'T-in-the-Park' music festivals.