Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 13, 2017 14:33:25 GMT 12
I didn't say it closed in 1990. I said it was still active in the 1990's, but - according to Wikipedia - "Irirangi was decommissioned on 20 May 1993. The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) is now responsible for signals intelligence, with a radio communications intercept station at Tangimoana and a satellite communications intercept station at Waihopai. The previous functions of Irirangi are now carried out by a small contingent of Naval maintenance staff."
I think with some research you would find that Irirangi transmitters and receivers are still an active Defence Communications facility, it's just that in this modern age they are remote accessed, and don't need permanent staff there, apart from a couple of techs. An interesting part of the facilities history was that in 1982, the signal to the submarine HMS Conquerer to sink the Argentinian Cruiser Belgrano was routed via Irirangi and transmitted on an HF frequency that could be intercepted by the submarine.
The VLF programme was known as "Project Longbank" and was based out of the buildings on the eastern side of Woodbourne. Ceased operations in the late 1960s. The signal to Conquerer was via HF. the submarine can either pick up the signal when surfaced, or via a floatable antenna that is launched and retrieved when submerged, being put up at known comms scheduled times to receive and transmit signals.