May 11, 2023

House, Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee Leaders Introduce Resolution Honoring 60th Anniversary of Polaris Sales Agreement

Historic Agreement Underpins U.S.-U.K. Advanced Nuclear Coordination

Washington, D.C. — Congressmen Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Ranking Member and Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, and U.S. Senators Angus King (I-ME) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, today introduced a resolution to honor the 60th Anniversary of the Polaris Sales Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom. The agreement was signed on April 6, 1963.
 
“As the top members of the House and Senate Armed Services Subcommittees on Strategic Forces, we recognize the significance of cooperative nuclear agreements like the Polaris Sales Agreement. When it was signed, the agreement represented a watershed moment in U.S.-U.K. nuclear coordination and remains a bedrock of our current nuclear partnership. We’re proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral resolution to mark the 60th anniversary of the Polaris Sales Agreement, and we remain committed to working hand-in-hand with our friends in the U.K. to maintain global stability,” the Members said.
 

Background

President John F. Kennedy and U.K. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan met in Nassau, Bahamas, on December 21, 1962, and issued a joint statement agreeing that the U.S. would make Polaris missiles available on a continuing basis to the U.K. for use in submarines.
 
On April 6, 1963, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. David Ormsby-Gore formally signed the Polaris Sales Agreement, reaffirming the Kennedy-Macmillan statement and ensuring that the U.S. would provide the U.K. with Polaris missiles, equipment, and supporting services for purchase. The U.K. started its first strategic deterrent patrol in 1969, beginning a continuous at-sea deterrent posture that remains in effect. In 1982, the agreement was amended to include the Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system.
 
In addition to marking the 60th anniversary of the agreement, the resolution:
  • Congratulates the Royal Navy for maintaining a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent
  • Recognizes the important contribution of the Continuous At-Sea Deterrent to NATO
  • Reaffirms that the United Kingdom is a valued and special ally of the United States
  • Looks forward to continuing and strengthening the shared commitment of the U.S. and the U.K. to sustain submarine-based strategic deterrents well into the future
Click here to view text of the resolution.