The government has claimed that bringing the manufacturing of nuclear warheads back in house will enable it to better “invest in technology”. Since 1993, the Atomic Weapons Establishment – which is responsible for developing, manufacturing, and managing the UK’s arsenal of nuclear weapons – has operated as a private company, under contract from the government. Hunting-BRAE held the contract until 1999, at which point a 25-year deal was awarded to AWE Management Ltd, a joint venture led by 51% shareholder Lockheed Martin, supported by Serco and Jacobs Engineering. Defence secretary Ben Wallace announced in parliament this week that, following a review, the “Ministry of Defence has concluded that AWE will revert to a direct government ownership model”. From as early as next summer, the nuclear agency will become an arm’s-length government body, wholly owned by the ministry.
Public Technology 3rd Nov 2020 read more »
THE government will take control of a nuclear weapons manufacturer in Aldermaston. AWE, which also has a site in Burghfield, is to be taken over by ministers to “simplify and further strengthen” the relationship between the operator and the Ministry of Defence. It means that Lockheed Martin, which owns 51 per cent of AWE Management Ltd, and Serco, which owns 24.5 per cent, will be stripped of their control of the base when the lucrative 25-year contract comes to an end, with Sky News reporting that it could be as soon as next year.
Basingstoke Gazette 3rd Nov 2020 read more »