Britain joins laser arms race with up to £100 million high energy combat laser project

The Ministry of Defence will begin building an experimental laser weapon later this year as a prototype for Star Wars-type armaments that could one day be used by British forces.

The project costing up to £100 million aims to create a high-energy laser that can track and hit moving targets in any weather.

Britain is joining the laser arms race as America has already developed a series of drone-killing and ship-burning lasers and already has one weapon on board a warship in the Gulf.

The project, known as the Laser Directed Energy Weapon Capability Demonstrator, is worth between £20 million and £100 million according to the MOD.

The project demonstrations will be required to establish five key metrics: the ability to detect, acquire and track targets at range and in varying weather conditions with sufficient precision; the ability to generate and precisely control a high energy laser; control of the irradiance of the laser; management of power and cooling demands whilst enabling operation of the laser over a prolonged period; and control requirements, particularly managing the risks such that the laser is safe to operate.

The UK is to build and test a laser weapon demonstrator. A Rheinmetall 10kW high-power laser weapon demonstrator is pictured. Source: Rheinmetal

SOURCES – Telegraph UK, Janes.com

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Britain joins laser arms race with up to £100 million high energy combat laser project

The Ministry of Defence will begin building an experimental laser weapon later this year as a prototype for Star Wars-type armaments that could one day be used by British forces.

The project costing up to £100 million aims to create a high-energy laser that can track and hit moving targets in any weather.

Britain is joining the laser arms race as America has already developed a series of drone-killing and ship-burning lasers and already has one weapon on board a warship in the Gulf.

The project, known as the Laser Directed Energy Weapon Capability Demonstrator, is worth between £20 million and £100 million according to the MOD.

The project demonstrations will be required to establish five key metrics: the ability to detect, acquire and track targets at range and in varying weather conditions with sufficient precision; the ability to generate and precisely control a high energy laser; control of the irradiance of the laser; management of power and cooling demands whilst enabling operation of the laser over a prolonged period; and control requirements, particularly managing the risks such that the laser is safe to operate.

The UK is to build and test a laser weapon demonstrator. A Rheinmetall 10kW high-power laser weapon demonstrator is pictured. Source: Rheinmetal

SOURCES – Telegraph UK, Janes.com

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