UK firm completes ammunition loading jetty for Royal Navy’s surface fleet

Photo: Royal Navy

The third and final jetty refurbishment to support the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers has been handed over to its operators.

The Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan on the shores of Loch Long in Scotland was refurbished by VolkerStevin under a £67 million (US$91.9 million) contract awarded by Defence Infrastructure Organisation.

Work began on the revamp 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 jetty, which will be operated by Defence Equipment and Support, was last upgraded in the 1970s and had reached the end of its economic life. The upgrade work has not only extended the life of the jetty by an estimated 50 years, but has also made the site accessible for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

The previous jetty was demolished and replaced with a new 135-metre-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 that are connected to the jetty by a pedestrian access bridge. To avoid the need to lay new electric cables through the water, the new navigation aids are solar powered.

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 Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales from colliding with the jetty.

In addition, 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.

Workers used capture blankets to prevent material from entering Loch Long when the old jetty was demolished and all waste was removed by barge to recycling sites on the Clyde.

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!