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7 November 2015. A2 sends:

Seeing the response from a third party regarding the above, I concur with the summary that the vehicle is probably a low level comms unit, however with regards the cable works, I have to strongly disagree. Fibre Optic cables in the UK are laid in Ducts/ Conduits never direct in a trench. The ducts will be either Grey (BT), White (Vodafone) or green (Virgin Media). These guys are laying power cables, probably 11Kv in trefoil (bunch of 3) as they are laid direct in the ground to help with temperature control. The Contractor (http://theclancygroup.co.uk) are well known in the electricity industry but not at all in the comms industry.

6 November 2015. A sends update:

Update to GCHQ Scarborough Vehicle

The vehicle is not ruggedised and therefore not likely used "in field". More likely is that it is used a bit like TV licence detector vans to check for TEMPEST-type leaks from equipment based at sensitive sites within the UK.

The Irton Moor (Scarborough) site now manages the whole of the traditional radio frequency business for GCHQ.

As for the contractors laying cables along the front perimeter fenceline, they are indeed optical fibre cables into the GCHQ station to upscale its cyberwar capacity.

It may likely be an additional feed in from the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) satellites, piped over from the NSA's Echelon hub at Menwith Hill.

5 November 2015

GCHQ Scarborough Vehicle

Comments invited: cryptome[at]earthlink.net

A sends:

Interesting vehicle parked outside GCHQ Scarborough (formerly known as GCHQ Irton Moor.)

May 2011 Google Street View imagery.




Note the gear on the roof for a microwave link and a telescope pole and ladders on the rear.

Also note the vehicle licence plate which hasn't been auto-redacted by Google (presumably because it doesn't have the regulation civil colour scheme.)

It reads "07 KM 08". Not a UK civil plate. I presume it is a UK military plate and the vehicle is from a Royal Signals Regiment detachment. It is a Mercedes Benz van (refer to badge on the front) but I can't tell which model.

Also note this September 2011 image.


It shows contractors laying cables (what sort?) right along the boundary fence. Must have caused much twitching of net curtains.

I couldn't spot any company logo for the cabling. The contractor fencing has logos but I can't make them out.

Finally, check out this December 2008 image of the visitor car park. It shows a regular UK car plate "FY 54 PKK".


Meanwhile, try your luck with the staff car park.