Just $13 a shot, Britain introduces laser weapon that will revolutionize air defense


Just $13 a shot, Britain introduces laser weapon that will revolutionize air

Britain this week showed off a new laser weapon that its military says can provide lethal missile or aircraft defense with about $13 a strike, potentially saving tens of millions of dollars over the cost of anti-missiles that do the job now.

Newly released video of a test of what the UK Ministry of Defense calls DragonFire, a laser-guided energy weapon (LDEW) system, captured what the ministry says was the successful use of the laser against an aerial target during a January demonstration in Scotland.

"It's a potential game changer for air defence," the video says as a bright laser beam streaks across the night sky over a firing range in the remote Hebridean archipelago, creating a ball of light as it hits its target.

The Ministry of Defense says the DragonFire can accurately hit a target as small as a dime "at long range," but did not provide specifics. The exact range of the weapon is classified, he said.

The laser beam can cut through metal "leading to structural failure or more effective results if the weapon of war is on target," the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement. It is claimed that it also acquires its targets for a fraction of the cost of current air defense missiles. The Ministry of Defense set the price of "firing" a 10-second laser burst at around $13. In contrast, the Standard-2 missile used by the United States Navy for air defense costs more than $2 million per hit.