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Orkney and Shetland
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47. Crimond, Aberdeenshire. (NK 069 580)

Communications station opened in 1978 to provide naval communications for the North Atlantic and the North Sea Crimond is the location of a High Frequency transmitter allowing voice communication between Army units, RAF aircraft, Royal Navy warships and UK headquarters. The transmitter at Crimond is operated by 81 Signals Unit, based at RAF Kinloss[51], and the Defence Communication Services Agency (DCSA) in a network that currently also includes a similar transmitter at Milltown[54] (due to close in 2006) and a receiver at Kinloss[51]. The system enables voice communication up to 1,500 nautical miles from the UK coastline between military units.

In March 2003, the Defence Procurement Agency announced that Crimond would be included as part of the upgrading of the long distance communications system for the British armed forces. The rationalisation and upgrading of the High Frequency communications system is being carried out by VT Merlin Communications under a 15 year, £220 million, Public Private Partnership programme and is due to be operational by 2008. VT Merlin will operate the HF Communications Services initially with current military personnel and management but then replace them with VT Merlin employees. Aberdeenshire council gave planning permission in 2003 for the erection of eight new antennas at Crimond.

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