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UK tests a laser weapon that can hit a coin from a kilometer

Britain has recently conducted successful test firings of its DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW), showcasing its capability to intercept enemy aircraft and missiles at a remarkably low cost. A January demonstration in Scotland displayed the laser’s precision in targeting and destroying aerial threats, marking a potential game-changer in air defense technology.

Precision and Capability

  • The DragonFire LDEW boasts precision equivalent to hitting a target as small as a £1 coin from a kilometer away.
  • Its effectiveness lies in its ability to cut through targets, potentially causing structural failure or disrupting incoming warheads, making it a formidable defensive asset.

Cost-Effectiveness and Affordability

  • One of the most significant advantages of the DragonFire laser system is its cost-effectiveness.
  • Firing the laser for a 10-second burst costs less than £10, making it comparable to the price of a large pizza in India.
  • This affordability contrasts starkly with traditional missile-based defense systems, offering a long-term, low-cost alternative for certain defense tasks.

Future Prospects and Investment

  • Following a series of highly successful trials, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has committed to funding a multi-million-pound program to integrate the DragonFire technology into the battlefield.
  • With a joint investment of £100 million from the UK MoD and British industry, the DragonFire weapon system is poised for further development and deployment.

Comparative Advantage: DragonFire vs. Iron Beam

  • In comparison to other laser-based interception systems like Israel’s ‘Iron Beam’, the DragonFire offers similar capabilities at an even lower cost.
  • While the Iron Beam claims a cost of $3.50 per shot, the DragonFire’s £10 per shot is significantly more affordable, making it a compelling choice for modern air defense needs.

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