United Kingdom: Rolls‑Royce is part of a joint venture in the United Kingdom to develop Successor, a new class of nuclear-armed submarine. It is also involved in the maintenance of the existing fleet of Vanguard-class nuclear-armed submarines.

Company Profile

Rolls‑Royce, based in the United Kingdom, provides integrated power systems for use on land, at sea and in the air. The company’s main business divisions are Civil Aerospace, Defence Aerospace, Marine and Energy.[i]

In the financial year ending 31 December 2012, Rolls‑Royce generated revenues of £ 12.1 billion (€ 14.8 billion), resulting in an operating profit of £ 1.4 billion (€ 1.7 billion) and a net profit of £ 2.3 billion (€ 2.8 billion).[ii]

Nuclear weapons

Rolls-Royce has been involved in the development and maintenance of the current fleet of nuclear-armed Vanguard class submarines of the Royal Navy. The company is responsible for the development of nuclear-powered engines.[iii]

Together with Babcock Marine and BAE Systems, the marine division of Rolls-Royce launched the Future Submarines (FSM) project in 2007. The goal of this project is the development of “Successor”, a new class of nuclear missile submarines for the Royal Navy, replacing the current Vanguard class submarines armed with Trident nuclear ballistic missiles.

In May 2012, contracts valued at £ 350 million (€ 435 million) were allocated to the three companies by the British government. The contract with Rolls-Royce, which is responsible for the integration of the reactor design, has a value of over £ 4 million (more than € 5 million).[iv] In June 2012, Rolls-Royce was granted a £ 1.1 billion (€ 1.36 billion) contract by the British Ministry of Defence for submarine nuclear reactor cores (£ 600 million) for both the current Astute class as well as the next generation submarines, and for industrial investment in the Raynesway plant that manufactures them (£ 500 million).[v]

[i]         Rolls-Royce, “About: Group overview”, WebsiteRolls-Royce (, viewed May 2013.

[ii]         Rolls-Royce, “Annual Report 2012”,Rolls-Royce, 13 February 2013 (

[iii]        Rolls Royce, “Submarines”, Website Rolls Royce (, viewed May 2013; Naval Technology, “SSBN Vanguard Class”, Website Naval Technology (, viewed May 2013.

[iv]        Needham, L., “50 years in submarine propulsion”, Rolls Royce In-depth, issue 13, 2008 (; UK Ministry of Defence, “Successor Submarine Programme”, Ministry of Defence informative aan UK Parliament, 22 mei 2012 (

[v]         Defense Industry Daily, “New Nukes: Britain’s Next-Gen Missile Submarines”, Website Defense Industry Daily, last updated 20 March 2013 (

Top 20 Producers

Looking for information on other nuclear weapon associated companies? Check here.

In some nuclear-armed states – in particular the United States, the United Kingdom and France – private companies are hired by governments to carry out work on maintaining and modernising nuclear arsenals.

This report looks at the top 20 companies that are providing the necessary components to develop, test, maintain and modernise nuclear weapons.The contracts these companies have with nuclear armed countries are for materials and services to keep nuclear weapons in their arsenals. The companies described are substantially involved in the nuclear weapons programmes of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, or India and are themselves based in France, India, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. More information on other companies involved in nuclear arsenals, not listed in the top 20, can be found here.

In other nuclear-armed countries –Russia, China, Pakistan and North Korea – the maintenance and modernization of nuclear forces is carried out primarily or exclusively by government agencies.


The nuclear weapon producers identified were selected on the basis of a predetermined set of criteria.
– Information on investments is publicly available.
– The company is directly involved in the development, testing, production, maintenance or trade of nuclear weapons related technology, parts, products or services.
– The company’s involvement is related to warheads, or to delivery systems such as missiles, that are specifically developed for nuclear tasks. This includes technology that is designed for ‘dual use’ (military and civilian) but excludes technology that is not designed for, but can be used in nuclear warfare. It does not include delivery platforms such as bombers and submarines.

State owned or controlled nuclear industries are outside the scope of this research, as are companies not publicly listed. Our research uncovered a number of Universities involved in nuclear weapons programmes, but these are also outside the scope of the report.

The list of nuclear weapon producers investigated was compiled through a wide variety of sources, including financial institution exclusion lists, civil society reports, media reports, etc. Additional details on the contracts and components is on the website.
We welcome information at any time about possible nuclear weapon producing companies to investigate.