88. West Freugh, Wigtownshire. (NX 110 547)
The RAF airfield at West Freugh was taken over by QinetiQ in 2001.
Work that takes place at the base includes a range of bombing activities
and short-range weapons trials. The airfield itself was closed in
2001 when full-time airfield operations ceased at West Freugh. The
base includes a weapons range to the southeast on Luce Bay comprising
of an area of sea in Luce Bay, and an area of land at Torrs Warren.
Bombs, rockets and missiles are fired over Luce Bay where most of
the trials activities take place. In additon to this fixed and rotary
wing machine guns of various calibres are also fired in the bay.
Similarly, on land, bombs are released on the target area and fixed
and rotary wing machine guns of various calibres fired. Missiles
are fired from the land out into the bay at 'soft' target barges
which are used for inert store releases. At Torrs Warren, the 'soft'
targets are three large concrete areas on the land. Any live stores
released on to either the concrete or the surrounding softer land
are cleared by explosive ordnance demolition techniques by QinetiQ.
Cluster bombs have been tested in Luce Bay and as a result special
mattresses have been manufactured to protect the sea bed. Twelve
sections of the bay are covered these mattresses, which were installed
Luce Bay is also used for NATO training exercises. In September
2003, the RAF contributed to a NATO training exercise called Northern
Light, which involved a huge mock amphibious landing that included
nearly 50 ships and submarines and also 34 aircraft from UK and