29 Mar 2017

Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) testing

Trials are being conducted by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to assess the effectiveness of Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) in support of the LDEW Capability Demonstrator.

Launched earlier this year, the programme is designed to develop a standalone laser directed energy weapon system and will culminate in a technology demonstrator in 2019. It will assess the capabilities of a laser weapon and advise the MOD on future procurement requirements in order to bring in an in-service capability. If it is successful, the first laser weapons could come into service in the mid-2020s.

The system needs to be capable of acquiring, tracking and engaging aerial and surface targets at various ranges and in different weather conditions.

Watch the video of a test laser melting a mortar bomb.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriet Baldwin has said: “The UK has long enjoyed a reputation as a world leader in innovation and it is truly ground-breaking projects like the Laser Directed Energy Weapon which will keep this country ahead of the curve.

“The Defence Innovation Initiative and £800M Defence Innovation Fund aim to encourage imagination, ingenuity and entrepreneurship, in pursuit of maintaining a military advantage in the future.

“With a rising Defence budget, and a £178 billion equipment plan, our commitment to innovation will deliver a safer and more prosperous Britain.”


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