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Beith Munitions Depot

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Depot perimeter, 2005, © http://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/1576
Depot perimeter
© Chris Court

Beith was established in 1943, as an MoD Munitions Depot during World War II. The site has facilities to store, maintain, modify, refurbish, produce and test weapons for all the armed services. As a result of the range of services it offers, the site has grown over the years, occupying almost 1,000 acres of rural land, and employing over 400 non-military staff.

Now (2007) part of the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA), and known as DSDA Beith, the site is said to have some 21 miles of internal roads, and almost seven miles of perimeter fence. The depot's storage capacity is some 18,000 cubic metres, with the buildings designed to implode in the event of an accident; the walls are intended to collapse inwards, while the roofs are intended to blow off, directing the main effects of any blast upwards, rather than sideways towards neighbouring stores.

Munitions handled at Beith include the ALARM (air launched anti-radiation missile), Tomahawk, Storm Shadow, and Brimstone missiles, and the Spearfish torpedo.

DSDA Beith is one of DSDAís Defence Munitions sites and provides storage, processing and maintenance of much of the UK Armed Forcesí precision guided weaponry. A multi-skilled workforce using extensive purpose built facilities that include two Integrated Weapon Complexes (IWCís) accomplishes these complex tasks. In addition to weapon processing, storage and maintenance, DSDA Beith currently support variants of Towed Array used by Royal Navy Submarines and Surface vessels, although this task is due to move to DSDA Crombie in March 2007, maintain and test the major ship to ship Harpoon and store and maintain a number of RAF missiles including Sidewinder. Another major feature of DSDA Beith business is the sub-contracts in place in support of commercial MoD suppliers, and these include the assembly, process, storage, test, distribution and in-service support of Spearfish torpedoes, Storm shadow, Brimstone and ALARM.

© 2007 Crown Copyright DSDA web site August 2007

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