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Data investment at British airbase

F 35A at Lakenheath

The US Air Force has plans for what it calls a ‘scalable modular data centre’ at the Lakenheath air base in Suffolk, which belongs to RAF but hosts United States Air Force units and personnel and is home to the 48th Fighter Wing, also known as the Liberty Wing.

USAF is looking for a contractor to deliver and install the data centre as a package which will include all professional and installation services, facilities, labour and equipment. The project includes meeting structural and security standards which will be engineered, tested, installed, and certified.

The specification document states that the facility is be built to Tier III standards, with a life cycle of 10 years. The first compartment of the facility occupies 408 sq m space and will accommodate 120 server racks

The second compartment is 100 sq m and will contain 30 more server racks. The majority of the 150 racks will consume 4kW of power each, but 20 racks will be rated at 6-8kW of power. A new power substation supplying 430 V, 3 phase will also be required.

An air-cooling system has been specified to maintain a temperature of 15.5 to 26.6°C internally, within the full range of -5 to 35°C outside air temperatures.

Installation is set to commence on 1 October 2019 with completion by 31 March 2020.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence announced last November it would invest £160m in Lakenheath to build out the infrastructure required to make the airbase the first permanent international site for US Air Force F-35s in Europe.


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