HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesUK scopes transition plan for directed energy weapons

UK scopes transition plan for directed energy weapons

by Richard Scott

The DragonFire 50 kW-class LDEW capability demonstrator system. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is embarking on a three-year β€˜Transition Phase’ programme designed to support the development and delivery of directed energy weapon (DEW) systems tothe UK armed forces over the next five to 10 years.

In a briefing note promulgated on 1 September industry has been asked to help shape the UK DEW procurement strategy by providing early input to guide planning and policy. At this stage, the MoD is leaning towards a framework arrangement that would allow it to leverage expertise from a wide range of suppliers across all tiers of the supply chain.

Being led by the Directed Energy Weapons team within the MoD’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation, the new DEW road map is intended to result in the fielding of laser DEW (LDEW) and radio frequency DEW (RFDEW) systems for air-defence and counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) applications. The work will build on prior DEW maturation and learning, including lessons learned from three capability demonstrator projects expected to start user experimentation in 2024.

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