UK forces are to use modified plastic pig ark pens made by Dumfries-based Solway Recycling as domed roofs to simulate training environments for combat operations in Afghanistan.

The modified ark pens will be used on training ranges to provide a domed position to simulate awkward firing positions.

More than 100 of the arks have been ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence and are being installed at its firing ranges so that soldiers can gain experience of shooting over awkward domed structures.

Solway spokesman Jim Muir said the conventional training involves firing while standing, kneeling or lying flat.

“It doesn’t allow for firing over domes, which is often very difficult,” Muir said.

“We tried several designs and made amendments after live firing trials to meet MoD requirements. The firing domes are going to UK training camps and will be used by British forces soon.”

Solway modified the arks as per the army requirements and then tested them on defence training sites before the order was placed.