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
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
Interesting vehicle parked outside GCHQ Scarborough (formerly known as GCHQ
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
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.