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, and the Defence Communication Services Agency
(DCSA) in a network that currently also includes a similar transmitter
at Milltown (due to close in 2006) and a receiver at Kinloss.
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.