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Royal Navy to receive DragonFire laser system

12th April 2024 - 17:39 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The DragonFire laser-directed energy weapon destroyed an aerial target at the UK's Hebrides range. (Photo: Leonardo)

The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) made the decision to accelerate the laser programme from the demonstrational stage to an operational laser weapon.

A Royal Navy warship will be equipped with the UK DragonFire laser weapon system by 2027. 

According to the UK Navy, a burst of the high-intensity beam costs US$12.5 (£10) to operate and can target drones, aircrafts and missiles to help counter threats, such as those currently faced by navies inthe Red Sea.

DragonFire is being developed as a cooperation between MBDA, Leonardo UK, QinetiQ, and the UK MoD's Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), with the next stages including further live firing, manufacturing and installing the laser.

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As previously reported by Shephard, the laser-directed energy weapon (LDEW) system passed a significant milestone in January 2024 by successfully firing against aerial targets at the UK MoD's Hebrides Range off the northwest coast of Scotland.

The range of DragonFire has been classified, but the line-of-sight weapon can engage with any visible target, and the test firing was a first for the UK.

According to a BBC report, the UK defence secretary stated that the laser could also have "huge ramifications" for the war in Ukraine.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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