Raytheon UK has unveiled its preparations to test and integrate a high-energy laser weapon system at a freshly inaugurated facility in Livingston, Scotland.
Following rigorous testing and optimisation, the laser system will be handed over to the UK Ministry of Defence.
This innovative system will be fixed onto a Wolfhound military vehicle, signifying an important evolution in the country’s military capabilities.
Raytheon UK’s newest laser system is specifically designed to counter aerial threats, prominently unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This 15-kilowatt laser is a product of the UK Ministry of Defence’s Land Demonstrator programme.
Notably, the Ministry had entered into an agreement with Raytheon UK back in 2021 to design and install this laser weapon on a Wolfhound armored vehicle.
“The arrival of this transformative technology is an important milestone in our collaboration with the MoD on using directed energy to address a variety of threats, from drones and UAVs to more complex missile systems,” stated Julie Finlayson-Odell, Raytheon UK’s managing director of weapons and sensors.
She further emphasised the company’s dedication towards the UK’s Integrated Review goals, which seeks a comprehensive understanding of the operational dynamics of directed energy weapons within the UK’s military framework.
This high-energy laser system has already proved its reliability in various field tests, exhibiting resilience in extreme weather scenarios like intense heat, chilling cold, and even during precipitation. In a span of four days, during live-fire exercises held in the US, this system effectively locked onto and neutralised multiple drone targets under various conditions.
This laser system’s delivery aligns with the inauguration of Raytheon UK’s state-of-the-art laser integration centre in Livingston, Scotland, dedicated to the testing, fielding, and maintenance of defensive laser weaponry. This centre, unveiled in July 2022, is strategically placed to ensure that laser weapons can be promptly deployed, maintained, and repaired.