UK MoD funds further LDEW development
The UK Dragonfire consortium led by MBDA will produce a Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) Capability Demonstrator for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) under a £30 million contract announced on 5 January.
The project will assess LDEW technologies and approaches, and will work toward a demonstration of the system in 2019 in order to inform decisions on the future of the programme and help the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory establish a road map to an in-service capability.
The contract will assess how the system can pick up and track targets at various ranges and in varied weather conditions over land and water, to allow precision use.
If successful, the first laser weapons would come into service in the mid-2020s.
Harriet Baldwin, Minister for Defence Procurement, said: ‘The UK has long enjoyed a reputation as a world leader in innovation and it is truly ground-breaking projects like the LDEW which will keep this country ahead of the curve.’
The UK Dragonfire consortium includes MDBA, QinetiQ, Leonardo-Finmeccanica GKN, Arke, BAE Systems and Marshall ADG.
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