Chemring Group PLC

Type of activity:
Protection Systems
Weapons & Weapon Systems

Chemring House
1500 Parkway
PO15 7AF

Phone: +44 (0)1489 881880
Fax: +44 (0)1489 881123

Chemring is a global group of companies that specializes in the manufacture of energetic material products and decoy countermeasures. We provide solutions for highly demanding customer requirements in defence, security and safety markets.

We are a world-leading defence company involved in critical defence development programmes in the UK, US, Europe and Australia. Our capability to provide solutions to customer requirements is based on our core competences in:

  • Energetic materials

  • High reliability and safety

  • Volume manufacturing

The Group is built on a hundred-year history of innovation and development and now employs over 3000 people in the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and Australia. We sell to over 80 countries and our end-users include the military services, security forces and commercial marine operators. Chemring Defence offers the highest quality defence materials on the market today. For over 100 years we have provided superior service to our customers and have assisted them in achieving their goals. Our many years of experience and commitment to excellence have earned us the reputation as one of the leading Defence manufacturers in the world.

The site which Chemring Defence UK (previously PW Defence Ltd) now occupies was formerly Haley and Weller who were formed in 1949 and whose primary product was fireworks, with a small amount of military pyrotechnics, that were sold under the Benwell name. The earliest recorded association between the family name of Pain and gunpowder manufacture is Edmund Pain in 1593 although it is known that a John Pain preceded him.

After the majority of the Benwell firework manufacture was moved away from the site in 1974 the company increased its manufacture of military pyrotechnics to the point that in 1987 the decision was made to divest the remainder of the Benwell fireworks business completely to allow the company to concentrate on the production of military pyrotechnics, which was seen to be the road to the Company’s future prosperity. After changing hands a few times the Company was bought by the Chemring Group in 1992. Renamed as PW Defence in 2000, a name that was deemed to reflect the company’s business activities more accurately, it again changed name to Chemring Defence UK Ltd upon its amalgamation in the newly formed Chemring Defence division.

In 2006 Chemring acquired Comet Pyrotechnics situated in Bremerhaven in Germany. Comet manufacture a wide range of marine and military pyrotechnics including simulation and battle effects equipment along with specialist mine breaching technology. Blackpowder rockets were developed in Bremerhaven as early as the mid 1800s. At the beginning of the 20th century the entrepreneur Friedrich Wilhelm Sander received worldwide acclaim for his development of rocket propulsion for aircraft and land vehicles.

During the 1960s Comet began to consolidate their core competence sectors of pyrotechnics, marine rescue equipment and defence technology and today are among market leaders in these areas.


Three of Chemring Group’s energetics technology and manufacturing companies have been integrated as part of a business consolidation programme, designed to realign the complementary businesses and activities into a more cohesive and customer facing organization.

Chemring Defence are offering the full suite of products; coloured smoke grenades, obscurants such as screening grenades, irritant products for law enforcement , flare products, weapon effect simulation products, minefield breaching systems and production for marine distress signals.

Chemring Defence UK is the centre of excellence for the design, development and production of military pyrotechnics. With more than 100 years experience they have built up a worldwide reputation, exporting to more than 40 countries. Their product range covers illumination, signalling, search and rescue, screening, training, law enforcement and high energy products.

Chemring Defence Germany GmbH provides a wide variety of weapon effect simulators that create realistic battlefield scenarios. Their products include pyrotechnics for marine safety, battlefield simulation, signal and illumination products and their Portable Explosive Minefield Breaching Systems (PEMBS) are in service with many NATO countries and other customers.

Related Articles

Chemring unveils Multiple Effects Rocket System (MERS) – the next generation handheld rocket (13.06.2010)

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