Featured NewsTrending NewsMilitaryGreat Britain Successfully Tests direct-energy weapon on drone


22 January 2024

The United States may have a dedicated Space Force, but it appears the British Defence Ministry is the first to deploy a space-age weapon to combat drone threats.

Last week, the ministry tested its DragonFire laser in Hebrides, Scotland, successfully knocking a drone out of the air. 

While the direct-energy weapon is not expected to see significant use for at least five years, the triumphant trial certainly bodes well for the technology.

DragonFire is an extremely cost-effective option, as current defense campaigns are typically require destroying inexpensive drones with very expensive missiles. The cost of the DragonFire? A paltry $13 per shot.
"We are looking to accelerate the next phase of the program," said Shimon Fhina, who oversees ministry strategic programs. "The recent trials prove the technology can track and engage high-end targets at range."

According to the British MoD, the five-to-10-year waiting period for the technology to be seriously deployed is due to the needs of preparing soliders for fielding direct-energy weaponry, devising safety protocols, implementing training sessions, preparing operational requirements and strategies, and more. 

It is estimated the Royal Navy may retrofit 150-kilowatt-class laser directed-energy weapons on new Type 26 frigates beginning in the early 2030s. The British Army is also extremely interested in the technology.
“The range of DragonFire is classified, but it is a line-of-sight weapon and can engage with any visible target,” the ministry revealed in a statement.
“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,” Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said in a ministry news release. “Investments with industry partners in advanced technologies like DragonFire are crucial in a highly contested world.”
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