Upstream Prevent of CBR Programme

The programme addresses the risk of a chemical, biological or radiological attack to UK defence and security.

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To ensure the safety of the UK’s armed forces and public, it is critical to understand chemical, biological and radiological (CBR) threats and develop interventions.

The risk facing the UK from CBR materials is reflected in the National Security Risk Assessment and mirrored in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The Upstream Prevent of CBR Programme addresses the risk of a CBR attack to UK defence and security.

Air sampling

The programme’s focus is to understand current and future adversary CBR systems; assess the implications of technological developments in the use of CBR; and work to develop intervention options across the full spectrum of effects.

Work includes analysis and attribution of CB materials, understanding threat signatures and threat systems, understanding the hazard associated with CB threats and proactive defeat mechanisms, and providing advice on arms control and prevention. This enables early intervention in the adversary routes and effective mitigation through the proactive use and development of disablement and elimination systems.

The programme provides evidence for informed political, operational and capability decision making for the Ministry of Defence and wider government. Collaboration with international partners will allow the UK to share research with close allies and influence a broader international approach to mitigating CB risk.

The programme supports:

  • SDSR 2015 strategic intent
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office National Counter Proliferation Strategy to 2020
  • Defence Counter-CBRN policy
  • The resilience and agility of critical sovereign CB capabilities

Key activities

  • Hazard assessment of CB threats to inform capability development priorities
  • Maintaining high-confidence CB analysis capability and developing increased capability to allow attribution of CB materials and delivery systems
  • Providing expert leadership and technical support to international treaties and control regimes to prevent acquisition, use and proliferation of CB materials

Contact us

For more information about this programme, please contact us:

Updates to this page

Published 5 January 2018

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