Dragonfire: Laser fire power

Once purely the domain of science fiction, laser weapon technology is now a reality of the modern battlespace, with Leonardo playing a crucial role.

The UK Dragonfire consortium – led by MBDA and comprising Leonardo, QinetiQ, Arke, BAE Systems, Marshall and GKN – has brought together the best of relevant UK industry expertise to develop a Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) Capability Demonstrator Programme (CDP) on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence, under contract to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

This new UK sovereign capability is designed to provide short-range air defence and close-in protection for naval vessels using range of different effects depending on the tactical scenario. These include identifying, tracking and deterring a potential threat by dazzling its targeting sensors, as well as damaging or even destroying the incoming threat. 

Leonardo is providing the system's beam director which is integrated into a turret to aid the target acquisition of the incoming threat at various ranges and in varied weather conditions over land and water. 

The Dragonfire consortium showcased the beam director developed for live trials at DSEi 2017.

Leonardo’s involvement in the Dragonfire consortium reinforces the company’s position as the world’s leading authority in laser technology and targeting acquisition. Leonardo is responsible for around 80% of the international market for high energy military lasers with the company supplying the targeting system laser for the F-35.