What we do
Discover how we support the defence and security of the UK.Discover more
In this volatile world, the growing risks to national security are concerns that are shared with our allies across the globe.
International collaboration is vital to maintaining the UK deterrent, through shared delivery programmes. We seek to drive better value and efficiencies through collaborative international relationships.
International collaborations are vital to our programme of work, and scientific and technical exchange is crucial to global defence. Keeping our world safe and secure, we work with a range of national and international partners supporting international arms control treaties – such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Treaty aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament, general and complete disarmament.
By virtue of the Mutual Defence Agreement (1958) and the Polaris Sales Agreement (1963, amended 1982), the UK’s relationship with the United States is fundamental for the UK to maintain its independent nuclear deterrent. The agreements facilitate the delivery of UK national security; the partnership will support the delivery of this strategy by providing impartial advice to the UK Government, we are developing our technical programmes to ensure that, where feasible, both nuclear programmes remain aligned and mutually supportive.
In 2010, the UK and France signed a ground-breaking treaty which sets out a comprehensive programme of defence and security cooperation to be taken forward over the coming years.
The treaty provides for collaboration and cooperation through shared facilities to maintain the safety of our independent deterrents. The responsible stewardship of our existing nuclear weapons stockpile is vital work.
As part of the requirements under the treaty, a new Technology Development Centre being built at Aldermaston is near to completion. This will support the joint Anglo/French Hydrodynamics Research Facility being constructed at Valduc in France. Known as the Epure facility, replacing existing facilities in both nations.
As a responsible nuclear weapons state, and party to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, the UK remains committed to the long term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. AWE plays a pivotal role in the support of the UK contribution to international arms control treaties. Our existing nuclear weapons skills base is being used to support Government policy in the prevention of nuclear proliferation, the promotion of disarmament and the protection of national nuclear security.
Through our collaborations with Norwegian partners, AWE continues to support the UK’s obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and the Government’s commitment to arms reduction. This is being achieved by
supplying technical expertise to advise policymakers and developing technologies to enable and monitor compliance with arms control and non-proliferation commitments. AWE continues to maintain its position as a key contributor to arms control verification.