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HM Naval Base Clyde


(HMS Neptune; Faslane; Faslane Port)

Located at Faslane on the Gare Loch in S Argyll and Bute, HM Naval Base Clyde lies 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Helensburgh. The largest military establishment north of the border, it is the headquarters of the Royal Navy in Scotland and home to the United Kingdom's submarine-based strategic nuclear deterrent. In common with all navy shore stations it is designated as a 'ship', in this case HMS Neptune.

Faslane was built during the Second World War as an emergency military port, to land food and vital war supplies if the harbours of southern Britain had been destroyed by enemy bombing. It was also used to send soldiers and supplies overseas, serving for example as the main centre for embarking heavy equipment to be used in the North African landings of 1943. It became the Clyde Submarine base in 1967 to support first the submarine fleet carrying Polaris missiles and then, from 1992, much larger Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines fitted with the American-built Trident missile system. The base, which has a staff exceeding 7000 (including 3400 navy personnel), is also home to conventionally-armed Astute-class submarines, the submarine escape and rescue service, a mine-sweeping squadron, engineering and maintenance services, together with training facilities. Accommodation is provided for around 800 family members of service personnel. The most notable structure on the site is the 186m (610 feet) long by 45m (148 feet) high ship-lift building, which allows submarines and surface vessels to be pulled out of the water for inspection and repair.

The submarines are issued with their nuclear missiles by RNAD Coulport, a storage facility located on Loch Long 2½ miles (4 km) to the west of Faslane.


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