Wednesday 29 May, 2024
HomeNaval & MaritimeNaval WeaponsDragonFire to be installed on Royal Navy warships earlier than expected

DragonFire to be installed on Royal Navy warships earlier than expected

The Royal Navy is set to install the advanced DragonFire laser on its warships from 2027 – much earlier than anticipated. This is due to a new defence procurement model that came into effect this week.

The DragonFire laser weapon system is capable of firing at any target in the air with pinpoint accuracy and at a cost of approximately £10 per shot. It can hit a target the size of a pound coin from a distance of one kilometre away. This powerful weapon will provide an effective defence against drone and missile attacks.

DragonFire was originally expected to be introduced to the UK armed forces in 2032. However, recent changes in defence procurement and prioritisation will enable the weapon to be operational around five years earlier than the original plan.

The new reforms emphasize the importance of delivering a minimum deployable capability quickly to the personnel and finalizing the development process once the weapon is in service, ensuring that the personnel can access the tools they need to counter an evolving threat.

Under contract from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), on behalf of the UK MoD, DragonFire has been developed in collaboration with UK industry partners MBDA, Leonardo and QinetiQ.

UK Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said: “In a more dangerous world, our approach to procurement is shifting with it. We need to be more urgent, more critical and more global.

“Our widespread reforms will deliver the latest kit and weaponry for our Armed Forces faster and help identify export opportunities that can boost the UK economy.

“DragonFire shows the best of the UK at the forefront of military technology, and we will not delay in getting it in the hands of our military to face down the threats we’re facing.”

The reforms will ensure more consistent delivery for the UK’s Armed Forces, helping avoid previous challenges where programmes have been over-complex, over-budget and over time.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of DefenceToday.com. Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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