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Barons Point

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Barons Point lies on the southwest corner of the Rosneath peninsula, between Cove to the north, and Kilcreggan to the east.

Open Sea Range

Range control, 2008, Fox
Range control

Barons Point is the location of a maritime range operated by defence contractor QinetiQ, one of a number of such sites from which it offers electromagnetic signature services, carrying out measurement, analysis, and optimisation of warship and submarines. The other ranges are at Rosneath, Burntisland, Plymouth, and Portland. The facility is also a strategic asset which the contractor must retain and maintain under its principal agreement with the MoD.

QinetiQ information describes the Barons Point range capability as OSR (Open Sea Ranging), having one open sea range with a depth of 30 metres which can accommodate submarines or other vessels up to 30,000 tonnes. The range is controlled from a shore based control building which is connected by heavy cables to a large coil lying on the seabed to the southwest. As the subject vessel passes over the coil, the current is adjusted to create an electromagnetic field which can either neutralise, or intentionally bias, the residual magnetic field inherent in the steel hull or ferrous components of the vessel. The vessel's magnetic signature is then measured, and the process repeated until the desired residual has been achieved. This reduces the danger from magnetic detectors, which can be used to trigger magnetic mines.

The range control building lies within a securely fenced compound, fairly well screened by trees, and with a clear view toward the Firth of Clyde and the range area. Within the compound, which has a small electrical substation adjacent to its entrance, a mast carries a series of beacons (lights) to mark the position of the range for vessels at sea, while short mounts on the building carry various VHF/UHF antennae.

The neighbouring cove was noted to contain the remains of a small concrete jetty, common during World War II, however there is no further indication of any connection.

Photographs

Cables, 2008, Fox
Cables
Concrete jetty, 2008, Fox
Concrete jetty


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Aerial views


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