What we do
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Our company operates from two main locations in Berkshire, less than ten miles apart – AWE Aldermaston and AWE Burghfield. It’s from here, and from additional facilities at Blacknest and Coulport, that we carry out essential work on behalf of the MOD – supporting the defence and security of the nation.
We have around 4,500 staff and a similar number of contractors working across each of our locations. Our sites are undergoing a transformation with new facilities being built as part of our modernisation plan, ensuring that we have the facilities and infrastructure to support the deterrent programme.
As the company's headquarters, AWE’s Aldermaston site covers approximately 750 acres. Once a wartime airfield, today Aldermaston is a centre of excellence housing advanced research, design and manufacturing facilities.AWE Aldermaston,
Formerly a munitions factory, AWE Burghfield is a 225 acre site where we assemble and maintain warheads while in service and then decommission them when out of service. It’s complex work that requires the expertise of everybody that works at Burghfield.
AWE Blacknest is home to our Forensic Seismology department. Here we research and develop techniques to distinguish seismic signals generated by underground nuclear explosions from those generated by earthquakes. The forensic seismology work undertaken at Blacknest is pivotal to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.AWE Blacknest,
The Royal Naval Armament Depot (RNAD) at Coulport and Faslane is managed by the ABL Alliance – an alliance of AWE, Babcock and Lockheed Martin UK.
The ABL Alliance manages strategic weapons services, bringing together complementary skills, experience and resources. A key role is to sustain and develop the existing expertise, safely and securely in support of the UK Government’s Continuous at Sea Deterrence (CASD) policy.RNAD Coulport,
In November 2010 the UK and France signed a defence and security treaty enabling the two countries to co-build and co-operate a new hydrodynamics facility, EPURE, in Valduc, France.
To support this agreement, AWE is constructing a Technology Development Centre (TDC) at AWE Aldermaston which scientists from both nations will use. The first phase of the EPURE facility will be for French use; the subsequent phases and TDC are in the planning and design stages. Once complete staff from AWE and from France will work alongside each other in collaboration on hydrodynamics research.
AWE continues to improve its security infrastructure and procedures to counter the ever present security threats in the UK. Additional training facilities have been provided for the Ministry of Defence Police who, along with a team of trained guards, provide security to each of our sites. Physical security controls have also been enhanced across certain areas of the sites.
The security of AWE remains paramount to our operations and the way it's implemented and managed is kept under constant review.