Royal Navy Boosts Defences with DragonFire Laser Weapon Rollout System Years Early

royal navy

Royal Navy Boosts Defences with DragonFire Laser Weapon Rollout System Years Early

London, UK – The British Armed Forces are set to receive cutting-edge laser weapon systems significantly sooner than expected. This follows a major overhaul of the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) procurement process.

The DragonFire laser weapon system will be deployed on Royal Navy warships starting in 2027, a full five years earlier than originally planned. This rapid rollout is credited to a new, streamlined procurement model implemented this week.

DragonFire boasts impressive capabilities. It can engage airborne targets with pinpoint accuracy (hitting a coin from a kilometre away) for a mere £10 per shot. This makes it a highly effective and cost-efficient countermeasure against drone and missile threats.

“Our approach to procurement is adapting to a more dangerous world,” said Defence Secretary Grant Shapps. “We need to be faster, more discerning, and more globally focused.”

The new procurement model prioritizes delivering usable equipment to troops quickly, with final refinements occurring after deployment. This ensures soldiers have the tools they need to address evolving threats.

Developed by a consortium of British firms (MBDA, Leonardo, and QinetiQ) under contract from Dstl, DragonFire showcases the UK’s leadership in military technology.

“In addition to getting this vital technology into the hands of our forces,” Shapps continued, “these reforms will position the UK to become a major exporter of defence equipment, boosting our economy.”

The revamped procurement process aims to eliminate past shortcomings where projects became bogged down by delays, complexity, and budget overruns. Key changes include:

  • Early industry involvement: Streamlining collaboration with British defence companies to expedite equipment delivery.
  • Expert oversight: Establishing a dedicated body (UK Strategic Command-based Integration Design Authority) to advise on equipment integration, preventing past glitches.
  • Empowering specialists: Granting greater authority to defence scientists, export leads, and financial experts to evaluate proposals before approval.
  • Export focus: Prioritizing the development of equipment with global sales potential.
  • Focus on deployability: Delivering usable equipment swiftly, with final refinements occurring after deployment.

This new model promises to deliver a more consistent and efficient procurement process for the UK Armed Forces. Laser weapons, like DragonFire, represent a significant leap forward in defence technology, offering a low-cost alternative to traditional missile defence systems.

“This is a significant step forward for UK defence,” said Dstl Chief Executive Paul Hollinshead. “Dstl is dedicated to anticipating future threats, and DragonFire exemplifies this commitment.”

royal navy
(image supplied by Gov.uk)

During a trial at the MOD’s Hebrides Range, the DragonFire laser directed energy weapon (LDEW) system achieved the UK’s first high-power firing of a laser weapon against aerial targets. 

royal navy

Ukraine will receive a British Dragon Fire laser that burns out drones.

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