Ministry of Defence, Propellants, Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment, 1977-1984
Ministry of Defence, Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment, 1962-1991
Ministry of Supply, Chemical Research and Development Department, 1945-1948
Ministry of Supply, Explosives Research and Development Establishment, 1948-1958
Royal Gunpowder Factory, Waltham Abbey, 1783-1915
Royal Ordnance Factory, Waltham Abbey, 1915-1945
2839 files, rolls and volumes
Open unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:
Ministry of Defence , from 1983
Series is accruing.
Unpublished finding aids:
Research establishments index with series list
Administrative / biographical background:
The Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment (RARDE) had its origins in the Research Department Woolwich, and its Design Department which was established in 1922 and was concerned with the engineering design and development of weapons.
At the end of 1942 the Design Department 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. In 1948 the ARD's name was changed to Armament Research Establishment (ARE).
The two departments were amalgamated in 1955 to form the Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), to integrate all stages of research, design and development. On 8 February 1962 the title of Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment was granted.
RARDE moved from MOD (Army) to become part of the new MOD/CER (Controllerate of Research and Development Establishments and Research) in 1971, its primary concern continuing in 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 located at Chertsey and Christchurch, and the Propellants, Explosives and Rocket Motor Establishment which was based at Waltham Abbey and Westcott.
On 1 April 1991 the Defence Research Agency (DRA) was set up incorporating in one organisation the Royal Aerospace Establishment, The Admiralty Research Establishment, RARDE and the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment.
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