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Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 13:11 GMT
Temporary break for one o'clock gun
Edinburgh Castle's former one o'clock gun
The long-serving gun was replaced last year
Edinburgh Castle's one o'clock gun has been replaced by a weapon manufactured by defence company BAE Systems - for one day only.

The special privilege was granted to celebrate the completion of a major munitions contract.

A ceremony took place in the Scottish capital to mark the handing over of the last LINAPS-equipped light gun to the British Army.

The LINAPS product has been wholly developed and manufactured in Edinburgh

Mino Manekshaw
BAE Systems
BAE Systems said that LINAPS - the Laser Inertial Artillery Pointing System - was the world's first electronic aiming technology for artillery.

It replaces the traditional "glass and iron" optical sights that have remained largely unchanged since the Second World War.

The 105mm light gun fires 105mm diameter shells.

It was formally handed over on Thursday to 7 (Sphinx) Battery of 29 Commando Regiment, Royal Artillery, which is based at HMS Condor at Arbroath.

The gun was prepared and fired at 1300 GMT in place of the normal saluting gun.

Time gun

Mino Manekshaw of BAE Systems said: "The LINAPS product has been wholly developed and manufactured in Edinburgh with a dedicated team of some 50 engineers and manufacturing staff."

The one o'clock gun - which is held at the Castle's Mills Mount Battery by the Royal Artillery's 105 Regiment - is the only remaining military time gun in use in Britain.

Four men were needed to load the original gun, which was introduced back in 1861.

A 25lb howitzer which entered service in 1939 was only replaced by a more modern 105mm light gun last year.

It fires a blank shell every day except Sundays, Christmas Day and Good Friday, as well as eight royal salutes each year.

See also:

11 Dec 02 | Business
30 Nov 01 | Scotland
20 Oct 01 | Scotland
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