Second Tests of Dragonfire LDEW
MBDA and its partners in the DragonFire consortium say they have carried out the first static high-power laser firing of a sovereign UK capability at the range in Porton Down on the 17th of October, 2022. The trials demonstrated that DragonFire could safely control and focus a high-power laser onto an extremely precise point at long-range using QinetiQ's phase-combined laser demonstrator, which generates around 50kW of power and is focused by Leonardo's Beam Director and delivered using MBDA's image processing and command and control (C2) system.
(Photo from previous test)
The firing was part of the second set of trials to demonstrate the accuracy and power of the novel DragonFire laser weapon. The previous stage of trials, announced in July 2022, confirmed that DragonFire could track and hit air and sea targets with exceptional precision. The next step will be to combine the first two trials by engaging targets in operationally representative scenarios, combining the proven tracking accuracy and the high-power laser.
This technology could serve as the foundation for various future weapon systems. The DragonFire project runs concurrently and is closely linked to other defence programmes, such as the Novel Weapons Program.