UXO is a term used to describe explosive ordnance that has been primed, fuzed, armed, or otherwise prepared for use and used in an armed conflict.

It may have been fired, dropped, launched or projected and should have exploded but failed to do so.

UXO also refers to explosive ordnance that has not been used during an armed conflict, that has been left behind or dumped by a party during an armed conflict, and which is no longer under control of the party that left it behind.

UXO is not necessarily unique to the impacts of WWI & WWII, because areas such as military training centres, weapons manufacture and practice bombing ranges can also contain significant volumes of ordnance beneath the ground, sea – and even cliff faces on the coastline.

Items of explosive ordnance are not uncommonly buried or burnt as a means of disposal on ex-military land.

When items of explosive ordnance are found, they are sometimes destroyed in controlled explosions, but accidental detonation can also occur.

What are the hidden dangers of encountering UXO?

The most obvious danger of encountering UXO is of explosion. However, some items of ordnance dating back to WWI used chemical weapons and items of ordnance that may have been buried for a significant amount of time could potentially cause environmental and ground contamination.

The size or shape of any item of ordnance does not indicate its potential danger, small items can kill and maim if handled incorrectly.

Explosive ordnance items are unstable compounds that become more sensitive as they age, and our professional advice is that if you ever encounter a suspicious item – do not touch it, call the police or for specialist services like ourselves for assistance.

It’s better to be safe and take the correct precautions.

What can be done to manage and mitigate UXO risk on Land and Marine projects?

The management of UXO risk is critical to avoid delay and possible injury in development and construction projects across the UK and Internationally.

We offer a wide range of specialist Land UXO Services and Marine UXO Services to help reduce the risks associated with unexploded bombs and other items of ordnance – reducing time, cost and efficiency.

Looking for a UXO Specialist? Need advice for your project?

Contact us for more information, we’re professionals in our field and here to help.

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