One of the cornerstones of the "special relationship" was laid on 3 July 1958, when representatives of the British and American Governments signed the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA), enabling co-operation between the two nations on nuclear weapons and naval nuclear propulsion.
During the Second World War, Britain and the US had been at the forefront of the race to build the first nuclear weapon, and as the Cold War got under way it made sense both politically and financially to pool resources. 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of a partnership that has enabled Britain to maintain a viable and cost-effective nuclear deterrent.
An exhibition in the Memorial Courtyard of the MOD Main Building, opened by Defence Secretary Des Browne in the presence of US Ambassador Robert Holmes Tuttle told the story of this remarkable partnership. The exhibition will go on public display for six months at the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, from the end of September.