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Inside Britain's top secret spy base preparing for war | uk news

Inside Britain's top secret spy base preparing for war |  uk news

 


Britain is living in “truly dangerous times” with “large-scale conflict” more likely than at any point in recent history, defense officials have warned.

Russia's war in Ukraine, Iran-related violence in the Middle East, and a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan are among the challenges that could trigger a sudden escalation.

At the same time, the lethal toll of new weapons developed by rival nations is increasing.

China has a “world-leading” arsenal of hypersonic missiles that can travel at least five times faster than the speed of sound, making them extremely difficult to destroy once launched, officials said.

They have signaled that the best way to defeat weapons like the DF-17 or long-range DF-27 ballistic missiles is to locate launch sites inside China and eliminate them before they can be launched.

The comments come as a group of journalists were granted rare access to a top secret military spy base in Cambridgeshire.

RAF Wyton has one of the largest intelligence analysis centers of any of the Western Allies within a complex called the Pathfinder Building.

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, analysts and other professionals work in huge, gray, windowless rooms with high ceilings about the size of an indoor football stadium.

The team is divided into sections, each sitting around a white curved desk with a computer and screen. TV monitors transmit real-time images from satellites, and drones transmit feeds from locations of interest around the world.

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2:21 Will defense spending reach 2.5% of GDP?

One official said it was the “biggest top-secret floor plate” dedicated to intelligence analysis, particularly for the closely allied group known as the Five Eyes – Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Glowing red numbers on digital clocks along one wall mark allies and other points of interest and provide time zones for Washington, Zulu (GMT), Stuttgart, Moscow, Canberra and Wellington.

The hall is one of several classified locations across the country used by Defense Intelligence, with a total staff of approximately 4,500 people, two-thirds military and one-third civilian.

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Employees may also be sent on overseas missions.

Although not a bespoke agency, Defense Intelligence is the military-focused arm of the British intelligence community, comprising MI6, MI5 and GCHQ.

A second official said demand for military espionage is the highest it has been since at least Russia's first attempt to invade Ukraine in 2014.

“We believe we are living in truly dangerous times,” the official said, adding that the Defense Intelligence Agency’s mission is to provide “insight and prediction.”

The official emphasized the importance of these opinions and said, “There will not be time to make significant changes starting with warnings in preparation for large-scale collisions.”

“We are in a pre-war situation…” the official said. [We are] “This is a time when large-scale conflict is more likely to occur than in recent history.”

Read more:Conscription is coming back and how was it used before?Are we headed for World War III? Experts give their verdict. The minister rejects claims that troops will be scaled back following the danger warning.

The comments come after outgoing British military commander Sir Patrick Sanders said last month the British public must prepare for future war.

Moreover, Defense Secretary Grant Shapps warned of a “world of war”, although he did not announce any policy changes to better prepare the country, including civilians and industry, for the reality of what future war would mean.

A third defense official gave his view on the threat landscape facing the UK and its allies.

“We are seeing the world in general becoming more complex and more interconnected, with more threats of instability and competition,” the official said.

Nuclear-armed and expansion-seeking Russia remains the most serious threat facing Britain and its allies, but officials say they are “very much alive” to the challenge posed by China.

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