The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £30m contract to produce a laser weapon with the aim of bringing the device into service in the mid 2020s.
The contract was won by UK Dragonfire, a consortium led by MBDA, who will produce a “Laser Directed Energy Weapon” to be demonstrated 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,” said the MoD.
“If it is successful, the first laser weapons would come into service in the mid 2020s.”
Harriet Baldwin, minister for defence procurement, 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 UK Dragonfire consortium also includes Qinetiq, Leonardo-Finmeccanica GKN, Arke, BAE Systems and Marshall ADG.
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