Catalogue description Admiralty: Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment and predecessors: Records

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Details of ADM 220
Reference: ADM 220
Title: Admiralty: Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment and predecessors: Records

Reports, technical notes, papers, minutes and correspondence of the Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment and its forerunners HM Signal School, the Admiralty Signal Establishment and the Admiralty Signal and Radar Establishment.

Date: 1918-1983
Related material:

Other records of the Admiralty Corrosion Committee and successors are in ADM 249

For reports and memoranda of the Royal Radar Establishment and predecessors of the Ministry of Technology and predecessors see AVIA 26

For further records of signals and radar establishments, see DEFE 35

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Admiralty Experimental Department, 1917-1941

Admiralty Signal and Radar Establishment, 1948-1959

Admiralty Signal Establishment, 1941-1948

Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment, 1959-1984

Physical description: 2483 files and volumes
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1981 Ministry of Defence

Accruals: Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:

The Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment originated in an Experimental Department set up in 1917 at HM Signal School, Portsmouth, to coordinate research work undertaken since 1896 on the Torpedo School ships HMS Defiance and HMS Vernon. In 1941 the Experimental Department became the Admiralty Signal Establishment which, like its predecessors, was largely concerned with communications. However, technological advances during the Second World War necessitated an increase in related fields of research, and in 1948 these were brought under one body, the Admiralty Signal and Radar Establishment at Portsmouth. In 1959 it was decided that missile technology justified an extension of its scope, and on being amalgamated with the Admiralty Gunnery Establishment (AGE) it received the title of Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment (ASWE). It is responsible for various aspects of research, development, design and trial of equipment, devices and techniques in the fields of communications, radar missile control, and electronic counter-measures and in related fields.

In 1971 the Admiralty Compass Observatory was absorbed into ASWE as its Navigation Division, and in 1984 the Establishment was amalgamated with Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE) and Admiralty Marine Technology Establishment (AMTE) to form the Admiralty Research Establishment (ARE).

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