asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are any changes planned in the deployment of United States Air Force aircraft at RAF Mildenhall.
Yes. SR71 aircraft are at present routinely deployed to RAF Mildenhall for several months of each year. Her Majesty's Government have agreed to a request from the United States Government to station 2 SR71 aircraft at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk later this year on a permanent basis. To base the aircraft permanently in the United Kingdom simplifies the logistic arrangements for their support.
The role of this aircraft is to provide all-weather reconnaissance and it will be used in support of NATO. It does not carry any weapons. In addition to the logistic benefits, permanent basing of the SR71 in the United Kingdom will enable the aircraft to be fully integrated into European reconnaissance operations and to participate more regularly in exercises. Some construction work will be required within the boundaries of the station.