Serco (United Kingdom) is part the joint venture AWE-ML, which runs the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment. It is responsible for manufacturing and maintaining Trident nuclear warheads for the UK arsenal, as well as developing the new Mark4A.

Company profile

Serco Group, based in the UK, operates as a service company to governments and commercial customers worldwide. Its main business areas in public service are health, education, transport, science and defence.[1]

In the financial year ending 31 December 2016, Serco generated revenues of £ 3.0 billion (€ 3.5 billion), resulting in an operating profit of £ 42.2 million (€ 48.7 million) and a net loss of £ 1.2 million (€ 1.4 million).[2]

[toggle title=”Contact Information”]

Contact Information

Twitter: @SercoGroup

Serco Group plc
Serco House
16 Bartley Wood Business Park
Bartley Way
RG27 9UY
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1256 745900


Nuclear weapons

Serco holds a 24.5% share in the joint venture AWE-ML, the company that manages the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE).[3] The AWE is responsible for the maintenance of warheads for the country’s Trident nuclear arsenal. AWE-ML is responsible for managing and operating the AWE sites at Aldermaston, Burghfield, and Blacknest, and is a partner in the consortium operating the nuclear arms depot in Coulport, Scotland. [4]

AWE’s involvement with Trident missiles covers the entire life cycle, from initial concept to assessment, design, component manufacture and assembly, in-service support and decommissioning and disposal.[5] AWE-ML has a 25 year-long non-revocable contract to run the AWE that expires in March 2025. [6] In the 15 years from 2000 to 2015, the contract had a value of an estimated £ 9 billion. The contract came under discussion in 2015 due to poor performance of the operator.[7] In March 2016, a modified contract that will run until 2025, between the Ministry of Defence and AWE-ML was agreed, described as including performance incentives as well as penalties for not meeting targets, and including the new consortium structure.[8]

According to recent reports, work is already under way at the AWE facilities in Aldermaston and Burghfield to upgrade the existing Trident arsenal. The “Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme” also entails the development of an entirely new warhead, the Mark 4A or Mk4A.[9] The programme reportedly commenced without formally notifying the UK parliament.[10]



The following financial institutions have made approximately US$ 3,653 million available to this producer from January 2014 through October 2017.

  • ANZ (Australia)
  • Ardevora Asset Management (United Kingdom)
  • AXA (France)
  • Bank of America (United States)
  • Barclays (United Kingdom)
  • BlackRock (United States)
  • BNP Paribas (France)
  • Commerzbank (Germany)
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (Australia)
  • Crédit Agricole (France)
  • DBS (Singapore)
  • Fidelity International (Bermuda)
  • Foundation Asset Management (United States)
  • Franklin Resources (United States)
  • Helaba (Germany)
  • HSBC (United Kingdom)
  • Intesa Sanpaolo (Italy)
  • Intrinsic Value Investors (United Kingdom)
  • Inversiones Mobiliarias Advalor (Spain)
  • JPMorgan Chase (United States)
  • KBC Group (Belgium)


  • Legal & General (United Kingdom)
  • Lloyds Banking Group (United Kingdom)
  • Magallanes (Spain)
  • Majedie Asset Management (United Kingdom)
  • Marathon Asset Management (United Kingdom)
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (Japan)
  • MSD Partners (United States)
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
  • Odey Asset Management (United Kingdom)
  • Old Mutual (United Kingdom)
  • Orbis Group (Bermuda)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom)
  • Serco Group Employee Benefit Trust (United Kingdom)
  • Standard Life Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
  • State Street (United States)
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (Japan)
  • Sun Life Financial (Canada)
  • T. Rowe Price (United States)
  • UBS (Switzerland)
  • Vanguard (United States)



[1]     Serco, “About Us”, Website Serco (, viewed August 2017.

[2]     Serco, “Annual Report 20162015”, Serco, February 2017.

[3]     Serco, “Annual Report 2015”, Serco, February 2016; AWE-ML, “Our company”, Website AWE-ML (, viewed June 2016; Edwards, R., “Anger as US arms dealer takes over running of Scottish nuclear bomb base”, Scotland Herald (, 28 May 2011; Serco, “AWE review concluded successfully and updated contract agreed”, Press Release Serco, 31 March 2016 (; Serco, “Annual Report 2016”, Serco, February 2016.).

[4]     AWE, “Our company”, Website AWE (, viewed August 2017; AWE, “Overview”, AWE, July 2014 (

[5]      AWE, “Overview”, AWE, July 2014 (

[6]     The Guardian, “Britain’s nuclear spending soars amid defence cuts”, Website The Guardian, 2 October 2011 (; AWE, “Annual review 2013”, AWE, May 2014.

[7]     Collingridge, J., “Nuclear contract may be scrapped”, Website The Sunday Times, 15 March 2015 (

[8]     UK Ministry of Defence, “MOD drives efficiencies in improved contract for nuclear sites”, Website UK Ministry of Defence, 31 March 2016 (; Serco, “AWE review concluded successfully and updated contract agreed”, Press Release Serco, 31 March 2016 (

[9]     Nuclear Information Service, “AWE: Britain’s Nuclear Weapons Factory Past, Present, and Possibilities for the Future”, Nuclear Information Service, June 2016 (;
Ministry of Defence, “Appointment as Senior Responsible Owner for the Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme”, Letter by the Ministry of Defence to Dr Paul Hollinshead, DST Director, 2 July 2014 (

[10]    Nuclear Information Service, “AWE: Britain’s Nuclear Weapons Factory Past, Present, and Possibilities for the Future”, Nuclear Information Service, June 2016 (; Norton-Taylor, R., “Trident is being upgraded in secret, report claims”, Website The Guardian, 7 June 2016 (

This page was last updated 29 January 2018.


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.