Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment

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1922 The Design Department of the the Research Department Woolwich was established, concerned with the engineering design and development of weapons.

1942 the Design Department was moved to Fort Halstead, Kent, followed later by the Research Department. They were designated the Armament Design Department and the Armament Research Department (ARD) respectively.

1948 the Armament Research Department's name was changed to Armament Research Establishment (ARE).

1955 The two departments were amalgamated to form the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), to integrate all stages of research, design and development.

1962 the title of Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment was granted.

1971 RARDE moved from MOD (Army) to become part of the new MOD/CER (Controllerate of Research and Development Establishments and Research). Continued to focus on the research, design and development of conventional armaments for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, whilst also providing help for the Home Office on the hazards of explosives, dangerous chemicals and the forensic aspects of explosives.

During the 1980s RARDE amalgamated with the Military Vehicle Engineering Establishment (MVEE), whose main sites were at Chertsey and Christchurch, and the Propellants, Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment which was based at Waltham Abbey and Westcott.

1991 the Defence Research Agency (DRA) was set up bring together the Royal Aerospace Establishment, The Admiralty Research Establishment, RARDE and the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in one organisation.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • National Archives [1]