The UK Ministry of Defense has awarded a £30 million contract to produce a laser weapon, reports the forces.tv website.
The prototype Directed Energy Weapon Capability Demonstrator was given to the UK Dragonfire consortium, which is comprised of partners from across the UK including MDBA, QinetiQ, Leonardo-Finmeccanica GKN, Arke, BAE Systems and Marshall ADG.
Directed energy weapons could be used to destroy drones, missiles, mortars, bombs and a number of other threats.
If the project is successful, the first lasers would come into service in the mid-2020 after a demonstration in 2019.
The prototype will be assessed on how it picks up and tracks targets at different distances and in varied weather conditions over land and water.
The project’s long-term goal is to produce a high-energy laser weapon which can be mounted on ships and ground vehicles.