What is UXO Disposal?

1st Line Defence offers the expertise and technology to meet a range of UXO Disposal needs, both on land and in water.

We have the capacity to rapidly deploy UXO Specialists wherever required, from remote areas in high-risk former conflict zones – to local construction sites for commercial purposes.

The final removal/disposal of an item of explosive ordnance is the most critical part of the UXO risk mitigation process. Any item of UXO, be it live or inert, should always be disposed of safely and with the minimum amount of disruption to all parties involved.

1st Line Defence can coordinate the entire disposal process, from the installation of protective works to supplying specialist equipment and explosives. We employ highly trained/specialised EOD Engineers who undertake the operation with meticulous planning and careful consideration of safety at all times.

Enquire about our UXO Disposal Services

Providing end-to-end UXO risk mitigation solutions

Once a potential item of explosive ordnance has been found on a site, our UXO operatives will examine the object, identify what it is and what hazard it poses.

If it is found to be inert – containing no explosive or hazardous content – then we can safely remove the item from site and arrange for it to be properly disposed of. For example, the device may be a practice or ‘drill’ round, it may be unfuzed or found to be empty or burned out.

If the suspicious item cannot be identified and confirmed as inert, the item is treated as live and dangerous – and a hazard assessment is undertaken. The assessment will take into account factors such as the nature and condition of the explosive device, and its location and depth. At this stage, an assessment will also be made of how the item can be safely disposed of.

UXO Disposal Scenarios

If a high explosive German bomb is found (50kg or more) and it cannot be confirmed as inert, our UXO operatives will liaise directly with military bomb disposal teams. The disposal operation will then be taken over by the authorities, who will attend site and make plans to either render safe and remove the bomb – or where this is not possible – to dispose of the item in situ.

When other items of UXO are encountered such as grenades, mortars and projectiles – disposal by the MoD/police may still be possible, and our EOD Engineers would contact the appropriate authorities. There are occasions when the military will not attend site, and advise that a civilian UXO contractor (such as 1st Line Defence) dispose of the item or items.

This is often the case where multiple items are being found on a regular basis. In these scenarios, 1st Line Defence can provide on-site UXO Disposal solutions for most types of explosive ordnance.

Where items need to be stored prior to disposal, we work with local police forces to obtain the correct explosives licences and provide specialised storage magazines. We employ both High-Order and Low-Order disposal techniques, depending on the nature of the UXO and the results of the Hazard Assessment.

UXO Disposal Services

High-Order: Utilises plastic explosives and a remote firing system to produce a controlled detonation and explosion. This generally occurs in a specially constructed demolitions area, and with appropriate protective works and safety distances/cordons – to protect infrastructure in the surrounding area and the safety of personnel on-site.

Low-Order: A Low-Order disposal technique causes explosive to burn without detonating. A common method used by 1st Line Defence is to deploy a thermite lance – a focussed flame with a temperature of more than 2000oC burns through the targeted ordnance, igniting the explosives within and allowing them to deflagrate.

Once a disposal operation has taken place, the item(s) and area are inspected to make sure the hazard has been completely removed so that work on-site can proceed as normal. To find out more about our UXO Disposal services, read our case studies below.

Why should I choose 1st Line Defence for UXO Disposal services?

UXO Disposal projects require detailed planning, communication and intricate execution – and we thrive under the pressure of operating in these challenging conditions.

1st Line Defence is a member of the Institute of Explosive Engineers and we constantly invest in new technologies to make sure we remain at the forefront of innovation within the UXO Disposal industry.

Our ex-military EOD Engineers have extensive experience in undertaking UXO Disposal operations all across the UK and around the world. You can also rest easy in the knowledge that 1st Line Defence hold Health & Safety accreditations from the industry’s leading bodies and institutions – your safety is our top priority and we are experts in our field.

Explore our Case Studies


Example of explosive ordnance found by 1st Line Defence in Nottinghamshire.

Case Study – Nottinghamshire

>>> UXO Disposal, UXO Risk Assessment, UXO Survey & UXO Support
Image showing Bomb tail pistols recovered during ground remediation works at Full Sutton in Yorkshire.

Case Study – Full Sutton, Yorkshire

>>> UXO Disposal, UXO Risk Assessment, UXO Survey & UXO Support
Looking for UXO Disposal Services?

If you need help or advice about our UXO Disposal Services, contact our experts for more information.

Call: +44 (0) 1992 245020 or Email: info@1stlinedefence.co.uk

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