MOD awards £30m contract to produce Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) Capability Demonstrator to UK Dragonfire consortium, led by MBDA.
The project will assess innovative LDEW technologies and approaches, culminating in a demonstration of the system in 2019. The contract will assess how the system can pick up and track targets at various ranges and in varied weather conditions over land and water, to allow precision use.
The project will inform decisions on the future of the programme and help the MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) establish a road map to an in-service capability. If it is successful, the first laser weapons would come into service in the mid-2020s.
The MOD’s investment in such innovative solutions demonstrates how the Government’s £178bn equipment plan, supported by a rising Defence budget, is ensuring our Armed Forces have the most effective and innovative capability available. The Innovation Initiative aims to strengthen the Defence partnerships which make such projects possible, keeping the UK safe and secure in a complex world.
The UK Dragonfire consortium includes partners from across the UK with international reputations in this area including MDBA, QinetiQ, Leonardo, GKN, Arke, BAE Systems and Marshall ADG.