AWE plays a crucial role in providing the warheads for the deterrent, which is used by the UK to deter the most severe threats to our way of life.
In the 2021 Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, the Government reaffirmed that the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent will remain essential to our security for as long as the global security situation demands.
Our Mission is to deliver nuclear warheads for the UK’s deterrent, and use our expertise to support national security.
Our vision- Together, delivering solutions for a safe and secure future.
Deliver and maintain a safe and secure Nuclear Warhead Stockpile
Our stockpile work covers the life cycle of the UK’s nuclear warhead: initial research and design through to development, manufacture, maintenance and finally decommissioning and recycling or disposal, providing continual assurance that the warheads are safe and fit for purpose. We must maintain the capabilities to replace the stockpile, when required, and to certify that it will have the required military characteristics, without conducting live nuclear tests in the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty era.
AWE provides essential support and equipment to the MOD for the transportation of warheads between our Burghfield site and the Royal Navy Armaments Depot (Coulport).
Support the strategic relationships that sustain the UK as a Nuclear Weapons State
Strategic relationships are critical to the UK’s continued status as a nuclear weapons state, and AWE’s role in supporting those relationships is vital. We support the MOD to be an ‘intelligent customer’, setting requirements that are fully informed. We work with international partners to ensure the warhead system is fully certified and supported and to develop technology jointly.
Through these relationships we enable the Government to meet international treaty obligations and we secure supplies of specialist skills, material and knowledge.
Use our expertise to provide wider support to the UK’s security priorities and scientific interests
AWE’s unique skills and capabilities position us as leaders in our fields of expertise. They serve as the base for our contribution to national nuclear security, threat reduction and counter-terrorism in support of the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence.
Our specialist facilities and knowledge support technical research projects for the benefit of the UK’s national defence programme and help to enhance the reputation of UK science.
Operate and enhance the estate on behalf of the Ministry of Defence
The sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield are owned by the MOD, with the management and operations carried out under contract by AWE and the nuclear site licence, environmental permits and other regulatory permissions held by AWE plc.
We are accountable for the safety and security of operations, for managing the security of physical, personnel and information assets and for evolving the estate to meet future capability needs. AWE also manages Blacknest, the home of forensic seismology in the UK.