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Watch declassified video of DragonFire laser zapping an aerial target

Watch declassified video of DragonFire laser zapping an aerial target

The laser cost works out to less than £10 per shot.

Britain showcases its £140 million anti-missile weapon which is designed to target and neutralise potential military threats.

According to the UK government, the 'advanced future military laser' comes from a £100 million joint investment by the UK Ministry of Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and industry partners.

The laser-directed energy weapon (LDEW) system was tested out at the MOD's Hebrides Range in Scotland.

Dubbed 'DragonFire', the laser gun marks a milestone in the UK's 'first high-power firing of a laser weapon against aerial targets'.

Viewers can now see the laser-pointed gun in action on 'above the horizon' targets, including a Banshee target drone.


Ben Madisson of Dstl said: 'Drones are a really good example of the kinds of target that a laser weapon would be very effective against, and certainly in our demonstrations, drones are one of the targets that we've successfully engaged on a number of occasions at really useful ranges.'

In regards to the power of the weapon, the UK government's website states: 'The precision required is equivalent to hitting a £1 coin from a kilometer [over half a mile] away.

'The range of DragonFire is classified, but it is a line-of-sight weapon and can engage with any visible target.'

'A military laser which could boost the UK Armed Forces with greater accuracy while reducing the reliance on high-cost ammunition has reached its next milestone,' the official UK government website disclosed.

'Firing it for 10 seconds is the cost equivalent of using a regular heater for just an hour. Therefore, it has the potential to be a long-term low-cost alternative to certain tasks missiles currently carry out.'


In fact, the cost of operating the laser works out to 'less than £10 per shot.'

Leonardo, one of the industry partners, is the company behind the technology and explained the main challenge of the weapon's design.

'In simple terms, the challenge of a Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) system is getting maximum laser power onto an extremely precise point. This is because you need extremely high laser power density to cause a physical effect and you need to do so at long ranges,' Andrew Sijan, Leonardo’s head of advanced targeting campaigns added.

The defence contractor had the role of designing 'Fast Moving Mirrors' (FMMs) - or Fast Steering Mirrors (FSMs) - which are used to rapidly and precisely keep the laser beam on target even whilst it is moving.

The weapon is intended to be attached to warships for future use in armed conflicts.

Featured Image Credit: X/@dstlmod