Upgraded ammunition loading jetty ready to serve Royal Navy’s surface fleet

The Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan in Scotland has been refurbished to support the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers.

Royal Navy
HMS Queen Elizabeth visits Western Scotland for the first time on 15 March 2021. Source: Royal Navy

The third and final jetty refurbishment was carried out by the civil engineering company VolkerStevin under a £67 million contract awarded by Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

The work began in 2019 and the jetty will be used to load and unload ammunition for the Royal Navy’s surface fleet, from nearby Defence Munitions Glen Douglas.

The upgrade extended the life of the jetty, which was last upgraded in 1970, by an estimated 50 years and also made the site accessible for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

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As explained, the previous jetty was demolished and replaced with a new 135-metre long jetty structure.

The previous jetty was demolished and replaced with a new 135m long jetty structure, requiring 127 steel piles to be driven into the loch bed to support a reinforced concrete deck. The works also included the installation of navigation aids and five mooring dolphins which are connected to the jetty by a pedestrian access bridge.

Two modular fender spacer units have been placed in front of the new fender panels and move with the tide to prevent the overhanging flight decks of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales from colliding with the jetty.

Additionally, the project included the installation of two modern pedestal cranes to load and unload ammunition and the construction of buildings for offices, power generation and stores. The perimeter fencing and CCTV system have also been upgraded.

Craig MacDonald, DIO’s project manager said: “It’s been such a pleasure to work on such a nationally-important and dynamic project. The project has faced numerous challenges, but they have been overcome with good teamwork, communication and collaboration. It’s great to see this vitally important facility now in full operation”.