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Science & Technology

UK military is now developing laser weapons

January 5, 2017 | Comment icon 12 comments



Lasers weapons could become a common sight on the battlefield. Image Credit: DARPA
A new Ministry of Defence project is aiming to test out the benefits of 'directed energy' technology.
A contract for a prototype device, which is set to be demonstrated in 2019, has been awarded to a consortium of defence firms known as UK Dragonfire.

Once completed, the weapon will be tested out to determine its effectiveness at picking and tracking targets over a variety of different distances and terrain types.
According to Peter Cooper from the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the project will "draw on innovative research into high power lasers" while also "providing a more effective response to the emerging threats that could be faced by UK armed forces."

Reports also suggest that the laser weapon is not being designed to counter any specific threat but more of as a way to determine if such systems will be viable for use in future military operations.

If the project succeeds we could see lasers being deployed on the front line by the mid-2020s.

Source: BBC News | Comments (12)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by Troublehalf 6 years ago
Would be neat, the problem is this is a rather small contract, only 30m. Secondly, there isn't a specific weapon being designed. We don't know if it's for aircraft, naval vessels, ground vehicles or even handheld. I know the Chinese have a handheld laser (granted, it can't 'burn' anything, but it's powerful enough to blind a human and damage drones optics, though this is also a 'we use the flamethrower for terrain clearing' type situation, as blinding laser weapons are banned iirc) so it is theoretically feasible they're working on their own. Alas, legally, such weapons will only be able to b... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by highdesert50 6 years ago
Interesting how much time and money we spend on fear. One has to wonder what would occur if we were to spend a commensurate amount on educating people to a simple understanding of empathy.
Comment icon #5 Posted by taniwha 6 years ago
Fight fear with fear!
Comment icon #6 Posted by brlesq1 6 years ago
Are photon torpedoes next?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
The Royal Navy used laser weapons in the Falklands War.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
Apart from every Royal Navy ship and countless other military apparatus.
Comment icon #9 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Well, if I were part of a highly advanced alien race that was here to conquer us, I'd take out anything in orbit first. Then land.
Comment icon #10 Posted by ROGER 6 years ago
Im wondering if mounting such a device on the ISS or a satellite could be used to clear space debris ?
Comment icon #11 Posted by Habitat 6 years ago
You mean turn a million pieces of junk into a billion ? Probably yes !
Comment icon #12 Posted by Troublehalf 6 years ago
I didn't say they didn't do any.


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