Page last updated at 05:28 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 06:28 UK

Giant jetty sets sail to sub base


The 150m jetty weighs 44,000 tonnes

A floating jetty, the length of two football pitches, has completed its journey to its new home on the Clyde.

The 200m long reinforced concrete structure will provide berths for six new Astute-class submarines at the Royal Navy's Faslane base.

The Valiant Jetty will be kept in place by four piles at its corners, each as tall as Nelson's Column, allowing it to rise and fall with the tide.

Five tugs towed the structure on its nine-mile journey from Greenock.

The £150m jetty, built by Amec and Morgan Est at the Inchgreen dry dock, weighs 44,000 tonnes, making it twice as heavy as a typical aircraft carrier.

Its hull is composed of 12 watertight cells, running its whole length, with concrete walls half a metre thick.

At each end, a heavy steel "forepeak" provides a mooring for the submarines.

The floating design was necessary because there is a 3m tidal range on the Gare Loch.

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