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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[74] 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.

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