The Ministry of Defence has detailed the funding allocations for the DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) programme.

This information was revealed in response to a written question from John Healey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.

Healey asked, “How much funding his Department has (a) allocated to and (b) spent on the DragonFire programme?”

James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, provided a detailed breakdown of the funding, stating, “The DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapons accelerated programme, announced in April 2024 by the Secretary of State for Defence, will see £350 million in government investment by April 2027 to deliver minimum deployable capability.”

Cartlidge elaborated on the programme’s history and financial backing, noting, “The accelerated programme is based on the DragonFire technology demonstrator which has seen £100 million of joint investment from MOD and UK industry since 2017. With £50 million funded by MOD and an additional £50 million funded by industry partners.”

Cartlidge affirmed this ongoing commitment, stating, “The MOD is committed to the continued investment in UK Sovereign DEW technology, to provide cutting edge capability to the Armed Forces at pace.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim
Jim (@guest_822034)
1 month ago

Perhaps we can issue these to our new conscript army.

Sunak reached a new low yesterday, role on 4th July.

Something Different
Something Different (@guest_822039)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

We are not a continental land power, we need quality not quantity. This idea will not do anything to strengthen the armed forces. Spend the money on trying to increase retention of armed forces personnel like sorting out the accommodation crisis.

What would happen if we sent these reluctant conscripts to fight and they start dying, the backlash would be damage the publics support of the armed forces.

Last edited 1 month ago by Something Different
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_822075)
1 month ago

If a true war comes to Europe how else do we organise a defence? Countries like Finland totally rely on such a process. As much as it’s sad a conscript option might happen there are circumstances that look increasingly less unlikely where we would have no choice as we would otherwise be relying on others in NATO doing it to protect us from having to exit our cushy lives. It might be that having some basic training might at least help prevent you from becoming mere cannon fodder when later being called up might become a necessity as it was… Read more »

GR
GR (@guest_822104)
1 month ago

In other armies, they dont put conscripts in front line roles, they put them in supporting roles to free up volunteer professionals for combat. I’m not saying I support conscription by the way, but it doesnt mean they would be used like cannon fodder.

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_822895)
1 month ago
Reply to  GR

The meat wave tactic is Soviet doctrine which was responsible for millions killed during the Great Patriotic War (WW2) and continues to this day in Ukraine. It is a consequence of poor training, equipment and a general disregard for human life. None of that is true of the armed forces of Finland. The result conscription has in Finland is a deep national consensus for national identity and the personal responsibility for Defence. The 20th century history is taught in school and many families remember their sacrifice in the Winter War. So it was not surprising that there was consensus for… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_822192)
1 month ago

You should tell all that to the Tory party, conscription is their new flagship policy.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_822046)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Not really what he said was it? The vast majority would not go near the armed forces!the figure was around 30,000 and then only in spt roles.
Thats not to think that it will work with everybody’s human rights agenda that will be screamed from the rooftops.
So what’s going to happen after the 4 th of July then? Instant utopia?
16 yr olds who can’t drink,smoke fight for the country till they are 18,
don’t work or pay taxes being allowed to vote!

Last edited 1 month ago by Jacko
Grizzler
Grizzler (@guest_822050)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

Blatant pathetic attempt at demograpic vote engineering by Starmer & his cronies.
Maybe instead they should just try and encourage those 18 year who can vote to actually get off their arses and walk half a mile To the nearest polling station…
But again that would take effort , and some coherent thinking, far easier to spout trite electionering bullshit..

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822063)
1 month ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Just like the national service is aimed at appeasing and appealing to a specific demographic of voter and is electioneering bullshittery ..that’s elections for you…..they will both be at it. But my view on voting at 16 is of you can marry, have children, start working as an apprentice in say the nhs you should be able to vote…..being feckless or having no idea has never been a barrier to voting…so I’m not apposed per say to suffrage going to 16…. But I do think there is a general issue around how are democracy works and how it can be… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_822107)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

With the way Ai is going I truly fear this will become totally impossible. I seriously wonder if Democracies will be able to survive in an environment where little is disprovable esp to inexperienced minds and any view will find evidence to support if and where self (and malevolent others) serving opinion bias becomes supreme. AGI is now expected within a year or so followed by Super Artificial Intelligence expected within a few years thereafter whereby humans may well start it on a campaign to fool the masses but would soon have little control as to how and where it… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_822235)
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Russia & China are running that experiment into wether mass false info can bring democracies & freedom down as we speak.

Jim
Jim (@guest_822194)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Voting at 16 has been working fine in Scotland for a decade, it’s had zero effect on the elections.

What’s the difference between a 16 and 18 year old anyway.

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw (@guest_822237)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

And we all know what a blinding success Scotland has been over the last decade!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822295)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Cough…Wales…Cough…Labour Devolved assembly…

Sam
Sam (@guest_822328)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

I’d rather have 16 year olds voting, than some orange senile coffin dodger leading the free world.

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_822911)
1 month ago
Reply to  Sam

Especially when said orange turd has been compromised by the FSB kompromat since 2015 and is confidently expected to do whatever the Crimlin tells him to. His son Eric is on the public record that ruzzian banks support his companies. #45 has been clear that Ukraine is a European problem and bad value for US taxpayers. He plans to leave NATO. The only member to invoke Article 5 was the USA (9/11) when everyone responded. NATO membership is clearly in the USA national interest but the FSB would be very happy not to be held to account for foreign adventures.… Read more »

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_822909)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

With the aspiration / bias toward full time education to 18, the 16 year old has little to no work experience whereas the 18 year old might be started on a Saturday job.

Obviously neither will have responsibility for independent living including the household budget.

Expat
Expat (@guest_822648)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

When I look at my grand kids and talk to them about what they get taught they don’t get much political diversity. I would say the teaching of the curriculum is very anti capitalism and binary, this is bad, this is good, where as the real world is far more complex. Bottom line is democarcy only really works if you have completely unbiased education. And for Labour its probably a banker vote as most 16 years old will be in school and its very likely schools will make an activity of voting so it’ll be a very high turn out.… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822727)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

To be honest demographics with a tendency around specific voting intention will always be a thing…as we know we all tend to get a bit more cynical, pragmatic and right wing the older we get or at least a bit more reactionary….and the younger generation will alway be more idealistic, revolutionary and generally left wing… I tend to think it all tends to shuffle and balance out and I honestly think adding 16 and 17 year olds will balance out the fact us older gits are living longer and longer and there are more of us than ever…the whole point… Read more »

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_822908)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The US school system has Civics to educate future voters on Independence, the Constitution and Democratic process. That is missing in the UK where History is more about dates and Kings than the political system and responsibility that we have now. Obviously there is also potential for discussion on who gets to write history (the battle winner) and how information or misinformation impacts the democratic process and government. Does it make any sense to study English Language and Literature without discussion of the ‘pen is mightier than the sword’ i.e. that persuading people about what matters is more influential than… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_822103)
1 month ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Interesting your original post a out pay etc in the forces which I was answering with this seems to have gone (I wondered why my reply wouldn’t post) so I will have to post it against the one you added to it which is a different point I tend to agree with. I would suspect the main one (reason for not wanting to join or stay in the forces) especially now that war fighting looks a distinct possibility, not getting killed might be the main influencer whereas before travelling the world and getting a trade was a major reason. I… Read more »

Grizzler
Grizzler (@guest_822109)
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yeah not sure why my other post has gone – I thought id posted 2 – The 1st (which you were replying to) admonishing the performance on the Tories and saying maybe they should look at fixing the current issues impacting recuitment and retention before looking to conscription as an easy fix .. and the 2nd having a pop at Starmer & his blatant attempt at demographic vote rigging instead of looking to resolve why lazy18 years cant be bothereed to exercise their vote. I’m nothing if not even in my disdain for both sides when it calls for it… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_822228)
1 month ago
Reply to  Grizzler

If elections come once every five years, only 20% of eighteen year olds are allowed to vote anyway. They are such a small percentage of the franchise, nobody can be bothered to talk to them, much less take their opinions into consideration. If many older folk here, yourself included it seems and me too, look at the candidates and think “a plague on both their houses”, and we think it election after election, who can blame eighteen year olds being turned off the whole process? When was the last time we voted for a party we liked rather than the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822059)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

Actually you can be an apprentice at 16, therefore work, pay taxes, you can marry and have children..so why should not 16 year olds vote.. As for the national service couple of things 1) the police, nhs and fire service don’t want to be saddled looking after a load of 18 year olds who will be there for 25 days over a year and then replaced by another co-hort….I assure you as someone who knows that will just cause serious levels of inconvenience and inefficiency…. 2) not my gig but I imagine the forces will feel the same about 30,000… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_822111)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I do fear, as with everything with this Govt certainly since Johnson when it seemed to become their only motivation, that this indeed would be the result in reality. Whatever the merits of an idea politicians seen incapable of viewing it as anything but what gives them a perceived political advantage in opinion polls over any real investment in reality. Epitomised by talk of the importance of defence while in reality doing little beyond the headlines to give any depth to the words. All about manipulating minds towards the next vote as if it’s some kind of video game rather… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822299)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You cannot serve on a front line posting because you would be classed as a child combatant by the UN. So the UN says that 16-year-olds are children and not adults. Good luck squaring that one away ..the lawyers opposing the 16-year-old vote change would have a field day. You cannot marry without permission, watch Porn, buy and drink alcohol, watch an 18 movie, drive a car legally, buy a sharp pair of scissors, tobacco. get a mortgage, get a loan, Credit card… If you are 16 with the vote and classed as adult then your parents are not responsible… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822326)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi gun, there are many many examples of transitions and in law it’s never been black and white…with different Ages and rats for different things.. I will give you the example I know best..consent and capacity in children and adults… for a very very long time in law we have an acknowledgment of a transition period between child and adult around consent and capacity…as well as the fact adults my loss the ability to both provide consent and have capacity. So although in law the children’s act 1989 s105 draws the line between child and adult at 18 in law..this… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822490)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Take Brexit as a legal quagmire example. Judicial reviews. Court cases. Appeals. Votes. Reviews Alterations to legislation. More Court cases. They would happen. It would tie the Govt in knots for years trying to get it done. The examples I used don’t even dip into case law or providence. The only winners will be, yet again, Barristers! I myself (and the family) had an issue with the 16 or 18 yr old being an adult or dependent question. My children had their dependents flights stopped to visit once per year whilst I was on a foreign draft , as they… Read more »

D.Roberts
D.Roberts (@guest_822320)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Good way of finding talent tho. Especially if they’re all training on drone flying. Which is what it will be

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822337)
1 month ago
Reply to  D.Roberts

But if they are spending 2.5 billion I would much rather they spend it on fixing the numbers of the regular professional military.

D.Roberts
D.Roberts (@guest_822372)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That should be the immediate priority, and an increase to at least 3% gdp on defence , however I suspect the speed of drone and ai advancement means future war will be reliant on bunkers of drone operators rather than frontline soldiering. The recently announced ‘baltic drone army’ seems to be the way forward.

Expat
Expat (@guest_822649)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Where’s the 2.5b coming from, if its a lift and shift from wellfare and money paid to businesses for things like aprrentiships it could be paying for itself.

Sweden and Norway have national service and I have friends in both countries most say that they enjoyed their NS.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_822748)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

It’s from the levelling up funding..so they are moving it from economic stimulus packages to this… to be honest I’m not completely against some form of national service…but all western nations that do it have essentially tiny populations with the only real option of manning a functioning military during war is by ensuring they have a male population that in the reserves..large western nations with large militaries don’t use conscription because as long as their government is not incompetent they can recruited and retain large professional militaries… Personally I see this as flailing about…trying to pretend your hot on defence..when… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_822869)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Not saying I’m pro national service just highlighting its not necessarily funded by defence and its something other nations do.

I actually think we’ll see it in other western countries as the security threat increases.

Lonpfrb
Lonpfrb (@guest_822919)
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Finland too.

If you want public support for Defence then having some knowledge and experience with personal responsibility is how to secure it.

General ignorance and misinformation is how to loose political support.

Redshift
Redshift (@guest_822067)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

Plenty of people don’t “work” or pay appropriate taxes, but most of those are in the Tory party.

Jim
Jim (@guest_822193)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

They said the same about women in 1914.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_822217)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Really😂

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_822276)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

Quite right.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_822081)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Hi Jim. How would you react if that was a Labour pledge? A modern National Service scheme. Genuine question. Not trying to poke the bear. 👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822180)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I think it has merit, myself.
Needs working out though, and I agree with spy it’s am election gimmik to them, where if thought through properly it could have legs.
But they go nowhere near combat, we don’t have a conscript military.

Jim
Jim (@guest_822197)
1 month ago

It’s estimated to cost £2.5 billion a year and it will have zero combat effect, what’s the point?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_822245)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Mate, if that’s true then indeed, that 2.5 Billion needs going on defence propier.

Expat
Expat (@guest_822654)
1 month ago

I assume those offered would be in reciept of state funds anyway.

How many would stay in? So recruitment costs come down.

How many will come out better with more to offer. Not sure its binary 2.5b type arguement, although politicians will play it that way.

Expat
Expat (@guest_822652)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

OK i’ll play devils advocate. Its and investment, generally the forces breeds good character, you can train and give life skills whilst learning the basic about how to fight should the need arise in the future. Over a few years you build volume of people who know the basics and can be called up if we needed them, far better than start from scratch. Your not paying welfare or apprenticship schemes so its funded in part. As you know I don’t back either party so from a non politcial red/blue tinted glasses perspaective it has some merits. But not something… Read more »

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus (@guest_822204)
1 month ago

Tbh, I don’t think that the idea is without merit, I know that I wouldn’t have had a problem with it when I was around 18, I’d have been happy to give NS a try. My late father spent time doing NS, he enjoyed his time during his service, and coming from his background from being a trainee priest to serving in the military it gave him a huge understanding and insight into different aspects of society and cultures. He always maintained that his experiences in NS were instrumental in his success in his later teaching and lecturing career. They’re… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_822195)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I would not vote for them if they tried to bring back NS but refused to fund the army at the same time. I won’t see children drafted for nothing but a political gimmick that will be paid for from the defence budget.

Coll
Coll (@guest_822175)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Attach them to fricken shark heads

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_822278)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

That was a party political post on behalf of the Labour party. More news soon.😇

Expat
Expat (@guest_822644)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep we’ve reached the same depths as Sweden and Norway…….

Yanto
Yanto (@guest_822089)
1 month ago

Can dragonflies be adapted for tanks, or ground troop army vehicals.? If not why.? Army is entitled to drone defence too…the best there is….navy spending-no object.!!!!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_822116)
1 month ago
Reply to  Yanto

Not presently no, not a laser of its power requirements but I’m sure in time laser and/or microwave weapons will become part of the equation assuming tanks have a future. Specialist vehicles employing these weapons are gradually being introduced mind and I think a major platform by the end of the decade, indeed the uk announced a radio wave weapon of that type just recently. Its likely to become a bit like the Carrier v Frigate argument I guess regarding defensive weaponry but there is only so much a tank crew can do unless such added weapons as they become… Read more »

Yanto
Yanto (@guest_822309)
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

How many drones can be destroyed by phalanx close-up defence system in swarm senario, excercises..??? Can it handle twenty at a time.? Has this exercise been tried with harmless drone attacks..???

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822300)
1 month ago
Reply to  Yanto

US Army put them on LAVs and have big issues with power, cooling, vibration and keeping the spot focused. Thats before you include battlefield smoke and obscurants.

Yanto
Yanto (@guest_822303)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thank You gunbuster..just asking as any extra defence at light speed will be great…against drone attack..overwhelming numbers would be handled quicker and cheaper than missiles…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822493)
1 month ago
Reply to  Yanto

Lot of other factors need to be considered. No. of lasers No. of Drones Speed of flight Engagement distance Loiter time on each target Re engagement time. You can easily overwhelm a single laser system with enough drones. Lasers are not a panacea. Engagement range of 2 km Drone flies at 100km/h or 27 m per sec Loiter time /engagement time for a laser is 10s per drone. So at max engagement range you kill one drone and the rest move fwd 270 m. Engage again…one killed the rest are another 270m closer… Engage again …another 270m closer. Rinse and… Read more »

Sam
Sam (@guest_822331)
1 month ago
Reply to  Yanto

Possibly, but you’d be better off with mosquitoes. Far more irritating to the enemy…

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw (@guest_822239)
1 month ago

I would like to see some stats on how good and effective this thing is. We’ve all seen a few videos and articles how its 10p a shot etc. but what is its destructive power, rate of fire, power usage/requirements etc?

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_822638)
1 month ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

Understandably, from the MoD’s perspective this information is not given. For example by giving the power output and spot intensity, you could work out the relative burn through times against various materials. Especially if you also found out the operating frequency. As then you would know how the light beam propagates through the atmosphere. Which an enemy could then make a missile’s skin slightly thicker or change the material, to overcome the time it takes to burn through. Thereby allowing the missile to get closer to a ship. As Dragonfire is going to be used as CIWS, it’s critical that… Read more »

SRamshaw
SRamshaw (@guest_822680)
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Certain information should certainly be classified, but when you are spending 350 million of taxpayers money it would be nice to know it doesn’t take an hour to recharge between shots (for example). We all know how great MOD procurement is, showing it’s not going to be another boondogle would be good!

S.crossland
S.crossland (@guest_822357)
1 month ago

What conscript this generation of pronoun gender unsure blue haired anxiety ridden anti white British losers? The only time they are brave
Is when they have a knife and after they have stabbed someone regard themselves as the victim. OK ,I exaggerate, but some what only.
When your bound to lose an election you can promise anything. And Jim be careful what you wish for Labour’s left will sacrifice defence on the altar of unnecessary nett zero and Starmers record would suggest he will give in. Be prepared for savage defence cuts !

andyreeves9@msn.com
[email protected] (@guest_822637)
1 month ago

how much more money are we throwing at this? millions and millions have gone into this project with no sign of any kind of system that actually does anything the sum total of it.

Last edited 1 month ago by [email protected]