The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that multiple vessels will be fitted with DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) within the Royal Navy.

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

Healey asked, “How many DragonFire systems are planned to enter service in the Royal Navy in (a) 2027, (b) 2028, (c) 2029 and (d) 2030?” This inquiry highlights the strategic interest in the integration of advanced laser weapon systems into the UK’s naval capabilities.

James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded, “The MOD has committed to accelerating DragonFire Laser Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) into operational capability by equipping multiple Royal Navy vessels with DragonFire systems from 2027 and all systems planned to be operational by 2030.”

He further elaborated, “DragonFire systems will be installed on Navy platforms around five years faster than previously planned service dates and will establish Laser DEW capability across multiple vessels.”

According to the Ministry’s plan, the Royal Navy will begin integrating DragonFire systems onto its vessels starting in 2027, with the goal of achieving full operational capability across multiple platforms by 2030.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Paul42
Paul42 (@guest_821687)
1 month ago

Which vessels, and when? How long will each be out of service whilst this is fitted and are we talking about installation on Type 26 & 31 at build?

maurice10
maurice10 (@guest_821695)
1 month ago

Have you noticed how many MOD projects are scheduled for service by 2030? I believe it’s a psychological dateline to destress the development teams, a little like ‘The war will be over by Christmas’ syndrome. I’d believe these ISDs dates more if 2031 or 2034 were quoted rather than the rounded-up figure of 2030.

Jim
Jim (@guest_821696)
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Have you noticed how many things grant Shapps has announced in the past few months. That’s why everything is set for 2030. It’s all based on the magic money that the Tory’s won’t be responsible for finding.

Steve
Steve (@guest_821702)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s a classic polictical trick. It will be a year after the election after next, meaning if there is no money and the Conservatives get in they can blame labour for failure of funds but if there is they can take all the credit as its not immediately after the election. It’s also not in the upcoming parliament because they individually want to still be around then but probably won’t be the subsequent one, so no accountability when it doesn’t happen.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_821729)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Or, it could be to paint Labour into a corner before they publish their 2025 Pan European stategy paper. “We can do all for less with our E.U. allies” For those who haven’t seen it Labour’s mission statement last weekend didn’t mention defence at all. Not a word. 🙄

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN (@guest_821700)
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Last desperate acts of a defeated government.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_821714)
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

To be far the geopolitical picture of risk is that 2027-2030 is the probable start of the high watermark for a very significant large scale conflict…with it likely starting to recede after 2034-35.

Peter
Peter (@guest_821716)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Correct and well spotted

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_822017)
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

We could tip into war with Russia &/or China well before 2030. So all the planning presumptions are naive. OT I wonder how on Earth the hollowed out forces would cope with hundreds of thousands of reluctant conscripts under Sunak’s mad latest wheeze. We need more professionals, not dubious cannon fodder, not valuable training staff diverted. The British forces are quality because they are volenteer professionals. We need more of them, paid better, treated better, equipped better. Mind you it’s just a mad gimmick from out of touch Sunak & the RW loons. They won’t be in power to bring… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821726)
1 month ago

Has there been any specific mention of the two carriers getting the Dragonfire? And what about the Ancilia decoy systems and even their original 30mm? Biggest ships in the fleet, these should be a priority and not worth skimping on.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_821741)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I’d make that investment in the escorts first. It is their job to provide fleet defence. The best tools for the job.

Marked
Marked (@guest_821753)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Leave the highest priory target with no last ditch defence of its own 🤣
Thankfully the most dangerous thing you are let loose on is a keyboard where you can’t get people killed.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821771)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Lol, Robert sticks to his view. That’s ok. We have ours. The QE carriers own defensive armaments seems to be kind of unique compared to other navies with carriers. Like you, I find it very negligent.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_821792)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I said I’d equip the escorts first because that is their primary role. Fleet defence. The carrier is safer when the escorts are properly equipped, so the carrier can concentrate on its primary weapon systems. Generating air power. The best defence for the carrier are those F35s with AMRAAM and ASRAAM, stealth, networked, insanely capable radar and weapon systems. F22 levels of air defence capability. Better in many ways. Crownsnest. Fleet wide data links and combat management systems. Some very tasty EW systems. Sea Viper and Sea Ceptor are pretty much the best money can buy. Wildcat is now getting… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Blay
Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821994)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Good morning Robert, I had to allocate a bit more time to read your post over morning ☕. Just to be upfront, I absolutely respect your service experience and point as view as I do of others here. It’s all good. I understand what you have written and I get it. I’m a complete non-military outsider. To me and some others here, it’s an observation thing, that the carriers own “visible” defensive armaments and decoys in particular are underdone when you compare with the carriers of other countries. I’m sure there’s a whole suite of EW and there’s the escorts… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_822029)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Morning pal. Thanks for the kind words. The 3 phalanx fit does cover all firing arches as the ship manoeuvres. I assure you that the decoy and EW systems will be fitted if not already. Fleet defence is a complex task, and with the intelligence available today, the networking capabilities and combat management systems, it goes way beyond what guns are available. I am sure that if the carrier’s would be deployed to a genuine hot zone, new toys would be made available at record speed. But I stick to my argument. The escorts, our escorts and allies, and the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Blay
Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822138)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Okay we’ll park that ship (carrier) right there for now. The upgraded T45s will make a difference as will the T26/T31 in build. Agree about ships alongside, even the ports/bases should have some GBAD type protection!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_822150)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Intelligence directs which ports are safe or not. I was on HMS Illustrious in 2001/2 during the aftermath of 9/11. We did a 7 month deployment. We went into Salalah in Oman 7 times. As it was classed as the only safe port for Western warships. Everything is evaluated, and nothing is left to chance. Sea Ceptor, NSM and the upgraded Sea Venom onT45 will make them extremely capable platforms.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_821782)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

14 years in the Fleet Air Arm pal. And everyone was fine. And that was onboard aircraft carriers. Luckily for me, you don’t understand basic defence matters, so I don’t have to waste my time with you writing long posts. 👍

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_823246)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Lot’s of people in military don’t understand defence matters. That is why they are often surprised. Royal Navy have an history of not understanding ship defence.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_823266)
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yeah. OK, Alex.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_821760)
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yes, totally. But you know how much I’d like to see some “increase in defensive armaments” on those carriers. lol 😁. Hell, a few of us here would also like to see even another T26 & 3 T31s ordered yesterday! Seriously, it’s good to see the new ships, subs, tech upgrades all coming through.

Vital spark
Vital spark (@guest_822013)
1 month ago

Fitted by 2030 then ships back in dry dock cause cooker and washing machine blown a fuse
I understand the fitting of these ships can take time but the build is painfully slow to… The Chinese are banging 3 out a year fully fitted… Country needs harsh task masters.

Mike
Mike (@guest_822603)
1 month ago

What about RFAs or are they to remain with 4 or 5 GPMG’s!!!!

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_823248)
1 month ago

Does it work?