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United Kingdom


The United Kingdom is one of the nine countries possessing nuclear weapons. It is a very stable partner and supporter the US security and is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Britain is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliance with the US.


Current Developments

Cooperation continues on advanced technology programs or system-level analysis. In 2003 the Framework Memorandum of Understanding on Ballistic Missile Defense was signed between the two governments and established patterns of cooperation on missile defense issues, especially on the field of research and development.

In February of 2013, the British military allowed the United States to perform system (software and hardware) updates, without changes to the physical façade of the defense system. The U.S. radar in question is located on British territory at the Fylingdales base, and is classified as an “early-warning” system for ballistic missile headed towards the United States mainland – from the Middle/Near East. Until these updates are installed, the only missile radar capable of detecting long-range ballistic missiles is in Alaska, at a site fixed to face Asia and Russia, rendering the East coast susceptible to ballistic missiles from the aforementioned region. However, this has been the case because to date, there are no credible threats of missiles with the distance capability to reach the United States from the direction of the Near/Middle East. Though the Fylingdales missile defense site does not directly correlate to missile defense cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom, it does keep the door open for that possibility to become a reality.  


Back in 2003, the United Kingdom formed its version of the Missile Defense Agency, named Missile Defense Centre. Together with its American partner, it has created the European Phased Adaptive Approach, which is built on the principle that The United Kingdome will integrate its sensor systems with US-based ships and missile technology in and around Europe, specifically with regards to both Navies.



The country hosts Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) in said location, Fylingdales Moor, for missile warning and space surveillance missions. Although under jurisdiction of the UK government, RAF Menwith Hill station provides communications and intelligence for the US government. The UK can launch as many as 48 MIRVed SLBMs (on submarines Vanguard and Trident). The UK has tactical missiles in its arsenal too.


In addition, the United Kingdom has begun integrated missile intercept testing with the United States, using their own Type 45 destroyers, equipped with intercept missiles and Sampson radar to detect ballistic missiles.

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