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Britain not ruling out sending Kiev laser weapons – UK defense secretary  

The DragonFire system could be used in Ukraine to counter Russian drones, Grant Shapps has said

A new British laser weapon could be sent to Kiev to counter Russian drones, UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps has suggested.  

The DragonFire weapon, which can fire a laser beam to take out a coin from several thousand kilometers away could have “huge ramifications” for the Ukraine conflict, Grant Shapps said.  

Visiting the Porton Down military research hub on Thursday, Shapps said that the DragonFire is expected to be ready for deployment by 2027, but he would see if the pace of development can be increased in order to send it to Ukraine.  

Shapps argued that in a “more dangerous world” he wanted to speed up a lengthy development procurement process in order for the weapon to be deployed, potentially on ships, incoming drones, and on land.  

A UK Dragonfire laser directed energy weapon system is seen on day one of the DSEI arms fair at ExCel on September 10, 2019 in London, England.


©  Leon Neal / Getty Images

“Let’s say that it didn’t have to be 100% perfect in order for Ukrainians perhaps to get their hands on it,” local media quoted him as saying.  

The DragonFire system uses a beam to hit and destroy targets at the speed of light, while radio frequency is used to take out an adversary’s power supplies. The wavelength of the light is about one micron, which cannot be seen by the human eye, making the weapon both invisible and silent.   

It is due to be tested by the British Army and Royal Navy in May in preparation for operational deployment. London hopes the DragonFire will offer a low-cost alternative to missiles for shooting down drones and even mortars.

During a trial at the MOD’s Hebrides Range, the DragonFire laser directed energy weapon (LDEW) system achieved the UK’s first high-power firing of a laser weapon against aerial targets.


©  Wikipedia

According to the UK Ministry of Defense, the laser weapon has been designed to destroy drones, which the Ukraine and Gaza conflicts have highlighted as the latest frontier in modern warfare.  

The UK has emerged as the third largest donor to Ukraine amid Kiev’s conflict with Moscow, providing almost $10 billion in military aid since February 2022. In January, Shapps raised the prospect of a war with Russia within the next five years as he called for military spending to be ramped up across NATO.  

Moscow maintains that the tens of billions of dollars of foreign military aid being funneled into Ukraine mean that the West is waging a de facto proxy war.  

Russia has repeatedly condemned Western arms shipments to Ukraine, warning they will only prolong the conflict without changing its outcome.

April 12, 2024 at 06:07PM
RT

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