Directed energy weapons to be developed by MoD

UNITED KINGDOM. In a Prior Information Notice published this week, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced it is seeking to develop three new Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) demonstrators to explore the potential of the technology and accelerate its introduction onto the battlefield.

Graphic courtesy of the Ministry of Defence.

The state-of-the-art weapons systems are powered solely by electricity and operate without ammunition. The systems could be fueled by a vehicle’s engine or a generator, reducing operating costs and providing 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 trialed in 2023 on U.K. Royal Navy ships and Army vehicles but, once developed, both technologies could be operated by all three services. These exercises will be used to understand DEW, test the systems' limitations, and assess possible integration with existing platforms.

The MoD aims to invest up to $162.4 million (130 million British pounds)  in this package of Directed Energy Weapons, including the construction of the demonstrators, the creation of a new Joint Programme Office, and the recruitment of managing personnel.