January 31, 2024

UK Military Unveils New Laser Weaponry

“Fire the laser!”, a phrase often heard in science fiction, but now you are more likely to hear it in the near future, thanks to a United Kingdom (UK)-based weapons manufacturer who recently demonstrated their latest product named DragonFire.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently test-fired a laser directed-energy weapon (LDEW) at aerial targets in Scotland earlier this month.

DragonFire was unveiled at the Hebrides Range, just off the northwest coast of Scotland, firing a single burst of intense light at quick-moving drones. No sound or explosion was produced from the beam, and the total cost of firing the weapon for 10 seconds was less than that of a moderately-priced restaurant dinner.

Details of the £30-million DragonFire LDEW system are not available to the public, but the MoD did share that it is turret-mounted, can target any visible object and is a line-of-sight weapon. As for its accuracy, its electro-optical camera and secondary target acquisition laser can hit a coin from well over a kilometre away.

The demonstration has wide-reaching possibilities, on top of its cost-effectiveness.

Grant Shapp, the Secretary of Defence, said: “This type of cutting-edge weaponry has the potential to revolutionise the battlespace by reducing the reliance on expensive ammunition, while also lowering the risk of collateral damage.”

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