UK tests the accuracy and power of its Dragonfire laser weapon
LONDON ($1=0.83 British Pounds) — Participants in the UK’s Laser Directed Energy Program (LDEW) have successfully launched a series of tests to confirm the accuracy and power of the new Dragonfire laser installation. This was announced by the MBDA company.
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The first of these tests, recently conducted by the Dragonfire consortium with a low-power laser, proved that the system can successfully track air and sea targets with high accuracy.
The company noted that these successful tests paved the way for the next phase of testing, during which static tests will be conducted on the already high-powered laser installation.
“The success of these tests is a key step in the development of Britain’s laser energy weapons. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work from both industry and developers…” said MBDA UK Managing Director Chris Allum.
The main task of the LDEW system is to safely steer and focus a high-power laser beam with extreme precision over long distances.
The first tests used a low-power QinetiQ laser, Leonardo beam steering, and MBDA image processing and control technology to facilitate the ultra-fine “fine” targeting and tracking accuracy that will be required when using the laser with already high power.
The Dragonfire laser installation is designed to protect surface ships and ground forces from missiles or artillery munitions that are supposed to be lost in midair even before they get close to the target.
Thus, the laser should provide missile defense in the near area and destroy unmanned aircraft in particular. UK Dragonfire is a joint combat laser consortium led by defense company MBDA with participation from QinetiQ and Leonardo.
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