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The DragonFire laser (counter-defense) system is shown on video

The DragonFire laser (counter-defense) system is shown on video
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The British Ministry of Defense showed a video of the DragonFire laser weapon system in action against aerial targets, including drones and mortar shells. Its cost is around £100 million, but each shot potentially may cost less than 500 hryvnia, which is significantly less than traditional air defense systems.

DragonFire has been in development since 2017, details about the 50kW laser are classified, according to NewAtlas. It is known to be a solid-state laser consisting of bundles of doped glass fibers, the outputs of which are combined into a single beam using a British-developed beam combining system. Mounted on a turret, it also has a secondary laser and an electro-optical camera for target acquisition and beam correction.

The video released by the UK Ministry of Defense provides more information on its design. It shows the target acquisition and pointing system in action, laser testing on static targets, as well as footage from field trials in January at the British Army's Hebrides Range in Scotland, where it tracked and engaged various targets.

The video also included animations showing DragonFire in action onboard a naval vessel, where it disables a boat, dazzles a drone, and shoots down another drone. Additionally, the Ministry of Defense released an image of a mortar shell that was burned through by DragonFire.

Despite successful trials, DragonFire will not be accepted into service by the Royal Navy and British Army as a standard weapon. Its function is to serve as a technology demonstrator that will provide data for the development of a more extensive second-generation weapons system that has not yet been funded.

The practical advantage of laser weapons is not only the ability to hit a coin-sized target at a kilometer away at the speed of light. It can replace rockets at short range, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Apart from equipment, a laser shot costs around 10 pounds, and the "ammunition" is virtually unlimited.

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