Work begins on weapons platform for warships

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WORK has started on a new £18m jetty where navy warships will load up with ammunition.

The Upper Harbour Ammunitioning Facility, in Portsmouth Harbour, will allow crews on the newest generation of warships to load up with ammunition.

Seabed piling of the foundations, near the entrance to Portchester Lake, began earlier this week.

Portsmouth Naval Base Commander, Commodore Rob Thompson, said: ‘This project has been planned for a long while so it is tremendous news that work has now started.

‘It will be of great benefit to the naval base and the navy as a whole.

‘It will be used not only by the new Type 45s but also our Type 42s, Type 23 frigates and other surface vessels.’

The existing jetty, which was built in 1929, is too small for the new Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyers.

The new platform can accept ships of up to 10,000 tonnes and can be used in winds of up to force six in strength.

It will be usable by the middle of next year.