UK construction company Carillion has been awarded a £90 million contract by the UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation to design and build a new communications facility in Cyprus.
Construction will begin next month at Ayios Nikolaos, a former village and presently a British garrison located in the British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia. The project should be completed by the end of January 2019, according to a company statement on 20 March.
The facility will be a single-story structure approximately 10,000sqm in extent and will feature both temperature and humidity-controlled environments.
The UK’s use of Cyprus as a listening post for communications and signals intelligence dates back to the middle of the last century. Intelligence derived from the various communications facilities on the island have been useful in enabling better strategic decision-making on numerous occasions, and have had an influence on operations ranging from intervention in the Balkans to air operations over Libya, Syria and Iraq.
Given the increased levels of uncertainty surrounding developments in the Levant and concerns regarding Russian geopolitical intent, it is hardly surprising that new communications facilities will be added to the UK’s armoury – with, presumably, consequent beneficial effects in intelligence sharing with its allies. It is, perhaps, no accident that construction will be completed in a relatively short time frame.