A rare opportunity to peer into a golf ball at RAF Menwith Hill
The so-called radomes provide protection for the radar stations at the base, which is owned by the Department of Defense but is operated jointly by British and American secret services as a listening station.
There was work on the site this week and one of the golf balls looked like a boiled egg with the top cut off.
Wing Commander Martin Tinworth of RAF Menwith Hill said, “There is routine maintenance going on. After years of exposure to the whims of the Yorkshire weather, the golf balls look a little grubby old plates with new, shiny ones. This work is aesthetic and does not affect the role or capacity of RAF Menwith Hill. “
In 2019, Harrogate Council gave MOD permission to build three more radomes at the base, bringing the total number of “golf balls” to 37.
The radomes protect radars from the weather and conceal their operation at the same time.
A radome, approved in November 2018, was due to be built in August 2021, and in the same year the council approved the demolition of 13 redundant buildings on the site, including one block of flats.
The number of US personnel at Menwith Hill has been reduced since 2014 in line with changing technological requirements.