What we do
Discover how we support the defence and security of the UK.Discover more
AWE plays a crucial role in national defence. We have been at the forefront of the UK nuclear deterrence programme for more than 60 years. Supporting the UK's Continuous At Sea Deterrence programme and national nuclear security are at the heart of what we do.
Our team of world-renowned scientists, engineers and specialists undertake critical work, providing and maintaining warheads for Royal Navy submarines – everything from design and manufacture to in-service support and decommissioning.
Our unique nuclear skills and expertise means that we are also able to provide intelligence and support to the UK Government by developing innovative solutions to combat nuclear threat, terrorism and nuclear proliferation. We also have a team dedicated to providing 24/7 emergency response support.
Today, AWE is recognised as a centre of scientific, engineering and technological excellence, equipped with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world.
AWE works under contract to the Ministry of Defence through a government-owned-contractor-operated arrangement (GOCO). In 2000, AWE Management Limited (AWE ML) was awarded the contract to operate the sites safely and securely as well as deliver a safe, effective and efficient nuclear warhead programme.
Three shareholders, which form AWE ML, collectively bring unique knowledge and experience to deliver AWE’s mission:
Jacobs Engineering Group – employs around 70,000 people to provide professional technical services to industrial, commercial and government clients, including scientific and specialty consulting, engineering and construction. Other services to primary process industries cover maintenance, fabrication, construction and maintenance management technology.
Lockheed Martin Corporation – employs around 126,000 people globally to deliver the research, design, development, manufacture and integration and sustainment of advanced weapon technology systems, products and services.
Serco Group – employs more than 100,000 people globally. An international service company, it improves the quality and efficiency of essential services to millions of people globally. Serco also supports armed services around the world, working across land, sea and air.
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) owns the AWE sites and facilities. The day-to-day management, operations and the maintenance of Britain’s nuclear stockpile are the responsibility of AWE ML’s wholly owned subsidiary, AWE plc. AWE plc employs the workforce, maintains the nuclear site operating licences and discharge authorisations.
As well as being our customer, the MOD, has a special share in AWE plc giving it authority to retain control over AWE plc and the company’s assets. With the objective of maintaining high safety and security standards at all times, the MOD monitors our operations, performance and programme delivery, along with other regulators and legislative bodies.