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News Release

Grove GMK6300L installs Cold War missile in central London


Commuters walking along London’s South Bank witnessed an unexpected sight recently when a Cold War missile flew through the air, lifted by a Grove GMK6300L crane.

The 6 t decommissioned missile and launcher was installed by the Grove crane on the Hayward Gallery terrace in central London, contributing to the Cold War section of the ‘History is Now’ exhibition. Named the Bloodhound, it was designed and built in Britain in the late fifties as a defense against Russian nuclear warheads during the Cold War. 

The 6-axle Grove crane’s compact design enabled it to negotiate the confined space behind the gallery, installing the giant missile at a radius of 64 m. The crane was supplied by Purfleet-based crane hire company City Lifting, and the job was completed in just five hours, in two lifts – first the 3.7 t launcher, then the 2.3 t missile.

“The missile looked very impressive on its launcher when lit up at night on the South Bank - quite intimidating, pointing towards the City,” said Trevor Jepson, managing director for City Lifting. “The long reach and high capacity of the Grove GMK6300L makes it ideal for carrying valuable cargo in tight spaces in central London, and this is one of many jobs in the city where this crane has proven good performance and versatility.”

The Grove GMK6300L all-terrain crane is one of Manitowoc’s biggest success stories. It features a class-leading 80 m main boom, and commands a large 300 t maximum lifting capacity while maintaining its versatility and compact design – ideal for city streets.

The missiles were designed in Britain within two years of the Soviet Union testing an atom bomb in 1949. Stationed along the east coast from 1958 until 1991, and designed to pass the speed of sound in seconds, they were intended as a last line of defense to destroy nuclear warheads in mid-air, moments before they hit British soil. The Bloodhound missile featured at the Hayward Gallery throughout the exhibition period, giving visitors a rare opportunity to discover the Cold War weapon.

About The Manitowoc Company, Inc.
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (“Manitowoc”) was founded in 1902 and has over a 116-year tradition of providing high-quality, customer-focused products and support services to its markets and its 2018 net sales were approximately $1.8 billion. Manitowoc is one of the world's leading providers of engineered lifting solutions. Manitowoc, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, markets, and supports comprehensive product lines of mobile telescopic cranes, tower cranes, lattice-boom crawler cranes, and boom trucks under the Grove, Manitowoc, National Crane, Potain, Shuttlelift and Manitowoc Crane Care brand names.
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