RNAS Ballykelly (HMS Sealion)

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RNAS Ballykelly
HMS Sealion

Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerMinistry of Defence
OperatorRoyal Navy
LocationBallykelly, County Londonderry
Built1962 (1962)
In use1962-1971 (1971)
Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m
Coordinates55°03′39″N 007°00′59″W / 55.06083°N 7.01639°W / 55.06083; -7.01639
RNAS Ballykelly is located in Northern Ireland
RNAS Ballykelly
RNAS Ballykelly
Location in Northern Ireland
Direction Length Surface
ft m
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RNAS Ballykelly is a former Royal Naval Air Station near Ballykelly, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland


Opened in 1941 as RAF Ballykelly as a RAF Coastal Command base. Runway extended in 1943 but closed at the end of the Second World War in 1945. In 1947 it was re-opened with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Joint Anti-Submarine School training flight. It closed again briefly in 1951 to allow works to be carried out for the arrival of the Avro Shackleton in 1952.

Further work was carried out in 1962 to prepare for the arrival of displaced Royal Navy (RN) units, following closure of nearby RNAS Eglinton (HMS Gannet) and was referred by the Royal Navy as RNAS Ballykelly.

In 1963 the runway was again extended and scramble platforms near the runway ends were added for potential V-Bomber dispersal. In 1964/65 a large hangar and workshops were completed to house Shackletons under cover. In January 1968, the RAF announced the base was to close and after a delay due to the late introduction of the Hawker Siddeley Nimrod to the RAF inventory, the last Shackleton left on 31 March 1971. The base was handed over to the British Army on 2 June 1971, when it re-opened as Shackleton Barracks. Since then the Army has improved facilities and accommodation and it is now a helicopter base.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AAC Ballykelly - Helicopter Database". Helis.com. Retrieved 2012-07-23.