Posted on July 10, 2019
Electricity-powered weapons that operate without ammunition are being developed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
It is hoped the systems, known as Directed Energy Weapons (DEW), could revolutionise the battlefield by using cutting-edge laser and radio frequency weapons.
They could be fuelled by a vehicle’s engine or a generator – significantly reducing their operating costs and providing unprecedented flexibility on the frontline. The laser weapons systems deploy high energy light beams to target and destroy enemy drones and missiles.
Radio frequency weapons are designed to disrupt and disable enemy computers and electronics. The new systems are expected to be trialled in 2023 on Royal Navy ships and Army vehicles and could be used by all three services once developed. The MOD aims to invest up to £130m in Directed Energy Weapons.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our Armed Forces operate at the forefront of military technology.” The MOD already has plans for initial trials of laser weapons systems, with the Dragonfire demonstrator to be tested later this year.