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60. Bishopton, Renfrewshire. (NS 435 704)

The former Royal Ordnance factory with a 12 mile perimeter is now operated by QinetiQ and occupies a massive area of land near Glasgow Airport. The factory was threatened with closure in 1999 with a loss of 283 jobs, and much of it closed in 2002 but a rescue package by the MoD resulted in QinetiQ taking over. Still partially owned by BAe the site is intended for development. The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Structure Plan, approved in 2002, identifies Bishopton as the best location for long-term expansion on the west side of the Glasgow conurbation.

Much of the ordnance produced at Bishopton was propellant for ammunition, from rifle bullets to missiles. In particular, the factory produced propellants for the Sea Wolf and Sea Skua missiles. Sea Wolf is a ship-launched surface-to-air missile that the Royal Navy can deploy against a number of targets including aircraft, missiles and even artillery rounds. It has a range of 7,000 metres. Sea Skua is a short-range anti-ship missile that has been in service for over twenty years. It is also the main missile system on the Lynx helicopter, which is carried on every Royal Navy destroyer and frigate. Two destroyers and three frigates were active in Iraq in 2003, and of that number, two frigates are still in operation.

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