Radomes and antennas at RAF Defford

In may 1942, the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE), responsible for radar research and development, and located near Swanage, moved to Malvern College. At the same time the Telecommunications Flying Unit (TFU), later named the Radar Research Flying Unit (RRFU), which operated flight trials on behalf of the TRE, transferred its aircraft to Defford.

TFU remained at Defford after the war, and was renamed the Radar Research Flying Unit (RRFU) in 1953. However, the airfield at Defford was too small to allow the operation of the large "V" bombers on flight trials, and so RRFU moved to Pershore in 1957. Most of the technical and domestic sites at Defford were soon de-requisitioned, but the central part of the now disused airfield still houses the Satellite Communications facility operated by QinetiQ (an international defence technology company, formed from the greater part of the former UK government agency, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA)). The various dishes and aerials used can be seen from passing trains between Worcester and Cheltenham and from the M5 motorway near Strensham services.
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