Dragonfire, a consortium contracted to develop a laser directed energy weapon for the Royal Navy, is showcasing a full-size model of the weapon at the DSEI expo in London for the first time ever.
In January this year, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), awarded a £30million contract to the Dragonfire consortium, composed of QinetiQ, Leonardo-Finmeccanica, GKN, Arke, BAE Systems, Marshall ADG and MBDA at the helm.
The team’s goal was to use what technologies are at hand to make a high energy defensive laser weapon system that will include the engagement of representative targets in land and maritime environments in 2019.
The LDEW technology provides operational advantage to the UK military and the potential to export such systems in support of the Prosperity agenda, as advocated in the UK’s 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, by developing on-shore industrial capability.
Peter Cooper, Dstl’s Project Technical Authority for Dragonfire, said: “Dragonfire is the culmination of many years of work in the area of laser directed energy weapons. We are looking forward to the 2019 demonstration and, working with our industry colleagues, we aim provide the UK Armed Forces with innovative, effective and affordable solutions to the emerging threats they face.”