In the UK, a consortium – Dragonfire – comprising a mix of major defence firms such as MBDA and BAE, plus science firms like Qinetiq has formed to produce a similar weapon.

The £30m injection from the MOD will assess how the system can pick up and track targets at various ranges – and in varied weather conditions – over land and sea when it demonstrated in 2019.

If Dragonfire proves successful, the first defensive laser weapons could be fitted to RN vessels in the middle of the next decade.

Weapon Engineer Officer

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