UK: Ammo Facility Ready for Its First Ship

Ammo Facility Ready for Its First Ship

An £18m facility to load and unload ammunition – shells and hi-tech missiles – from Portsmouth-based warships has been completed. The new Upper Harbour Ammunitioning Facility replaces a jetty on the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour which has served the Royal Navy well for more than 80 years.

Work on a new £18m jetty in Portsmouth Harbour where Royal Navy warships will load up with ammunition has just been completed.

The new Upper Harbour Ammunitioning Facility – delivered by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) – will replace the existing jetty which was built in 1929 and is not large enough to accommodate the Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers.

VolkerStevin Marine has spent the last ten months building the jetty and this week formally handed it over to the Ministry of Defence.

Captain Iain Greenlees, who has overseen the project, said:

“The completion of this vital new facility is another milestone in the history of the Naval Base.

“Being able to ammunition ships in their base port is a key element in getting them ready for operations around the world.

“Critically this facility will be able to load ammunition on the Type 45 destroyers and this significant investment in the base will then go on to support all the Navy’s destroyers, frigates and patrol boats for the next 50 years.”

The facility – which also includes two hydraulic cranes and mooring pontoons – measures 85 metres by 15 metres and can accommodate ships up to 10,000 tonnes. It can be used in winds of up to force six.

Paul Simmonds of the DIO, who managed the project, added:

“DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces as they prepare for operations. This has been a complex project due to the nature of the requirement, the environment and additional levels of regulation required for explosives facilities.

“The fact that the UHAF has been completed on time and within budget is testament to the excellent collaborative approach taken between VolkerStevin Marine, DIO and naval base staff.”

The new jetty is scheduled to be used for the first time in September when the old facility will be demolished.

Naval Today Staff, August 17, 2012; Image: Royal Navy