Britain’s DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW): In the significant military upliftment the UK had made a weapon that can shoot a coin from kilometres away, thus increasing its capacity to intercept enemy aircraft and missiles at a remarkably low cost. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) – along with its Defence industry partners MBDA, Leonardo and Qinetiq developed this machine.

DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW)

AspectDragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW)
PrecisionEquivalent to hitting a £1 coin from 1 kilometer away
CapabilityCapable of cutting through targets and disrupting incoming warheads
Cost-EffectivenessFiring for a 10-second burst costs less than £10
AffordabilityComparable to the price of a large pizza in India
Future ProspectsUK Ministry of Defence committed to multi-million-pound integration program
InvestmentJoint investment of £100 million from UK MoD and British industry
Releasing a statement, the UK Defence Ministry released the statement “The ecosystem of science and technology required to develop DragonFire would not be possible without the world-leading expertise of MBDA, QinetiQ, and Leonardo, and the ‘best of UK industry’ partnership they have created. Through the UK DragonFire programme, Dstl, MBDA, QinetiQ, and Leonardo are providing a significant step change in the UK’s capability in High Energy Laser Weapon Systems. The programme has developed and matured the key technologies needed. It should not be underestimated the challenges that need to be overcome to be able to put many kW’s of energy onto a target with millimetric precision, over distances measured in kilometres. The expertise in the UK, distributed across government, industry and academia, has helped achieve this.”

Is Dragonfire the only UK lDEW project?

It is a collaboration project of The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) – along with its Defence industry partners MBDA, Leonardo and Qinetiq to develop this laser machine.

How does Britain’s DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) compare to Israeli Iron Doom?

In comparison to Israel’s Iron Beam, DragonFire offers similar laser-based interception capabilities at a significantly lower cost of £10 per shot compared to Iron Beam’s $3.50 per shot, making it a more cost-effective choice for modern air defence needs.

Ashutosh Raj

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