U.K. Tests High-Power Laser Against Aerial Targets

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U.K. Tests High-Power Laser Against Aerial Targets
U.K.’s DragonFire laser-directed energy weapon (LDEW) system became the U.K.’s first high-power firing of a laser weapon against aerial targets.

The DragonFire was used against an aerial target during a MOD’s Hebrides Range trial. The range is classified as a laser system, a line-of-sight weapon that can engage with only any target in vision.

The laser’s impact on the target is related to the power of the laser beam. A more powerful laser is an advantage, costing less than £10 per shot.


The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) leads DragonFire on behalf of the UK MOD in collaboration with industry partners MBDA, Leonardo, and QinetiQ.

This milestone demonstrated the ability to engage aerial targets at appropriate ranges and represents a significant step towards putting this technology into service. The Army and the Royal Navy are considering incorporating this technology into their future air defence capabilities.

The latest milestone follows a series of highly successful trials, which included the first static high-power laser firing of a sovereign U.K. capability and a demonstration of the DragonFire system’s ability to track moving air and sea targets with high accuracy at range.

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