It seems somewhat odd to look across the River Alde from the town of Orford and see a spit of idyllic Suffolk coastline dominated by an industrial structure. I have been familiar with this scene all my life. It is only recently that I have questioned the reasoning and purpose of the existence of this brutalist building, the anomaly being Cobra Mist.
Cobra Mist was built by the US government as a radar station during the Cold War in 1967. Its main purpose was to monitor the potential threat of missile and rocket launches from the Soviet Union. The British offered the Americans this particular site as this location allowed radar to be visible to almost all of Eastern Europe as well as the western parts of the Soviet Union. However, Cobra Mist was only up and running for one year because the radars did not function properly and it became obsolete in 1973 with the superiority of spy satellites. The BBC World Service eventually occupied Cobra Mist to use as a radio transmitting station until 2011.