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UK considers possibility of sending Ukraine laser weapons prototype - Defense Ministry

UK considers possibility of sending Ukraine laser weapons prototype - Defense Ministry Photo: UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The UK is considering sending Ukraine a prototype laser weapon. It is a means to shoot down drones and missiles, according to UK Defense Minister Grant Shapps.

The UK Defense Minister inspects the DragonFire laser weapons laboratory. He notes that the deployment of this weapon is the "biggest waste of money in defense."

"What I want to do is speed up what would usually be a very lengthy process, possibly up to 10 years, down to a much shorter timeframe and get it deployed, potentially on ships and potentially on land," Shapps says.

According to Shapps, the UK wants to have DragonFire in service by 2027. But, as the Minister notes, the UK is also working to see if it can send prototypes to Ukraine earlier, even if they are not 100% advanced.

What is DragonFire?

DragonFire is a laser beam that can shoot down drones and missiles. The weapon is invisible and silent because the wavelength of the light is about one micron, which the human eye cannot detect.

The UK Ministry of Defense notes that the system is powerful enough to shoot down projectiles moving faster than, for example, ballistic missiles. The main feature of laser weapons is their low cost. It is stated that a shot costs 10 pounds.

The UK has accelerated the deployment of laser weapons against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The laser is expected to be installed on UK navy ships first, and then the systems will be deployed on land.

Recently, the UK Ministry of Defense demonstrated the DragonFire laser system, which was called the weapon of the future.