Today’s defence-related news includes the announcement that the MOD has awarded the £30m contract to produce a Laser Directed Energy Weapon to the UK Dragonfire consortium.
The Sun, Daily Mail and The Guardian all report that the Ministry of Defence has awarded a group of arms firms called UK Dragonfire a £30m contract for laser weapons, which could be used by UK forces on board warships, jets, drones and by ground troops. It is reported that the aim is to have a product in place by the mid-2020s.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriet Baldwin said:
The UK has long enjoyed a reputation as a world leader in innovation and it is truly ground-breaking projects like the Laser Directed Energy Weapon which will keep this country ahead of the curve. The Defence Innovation Initiative and £800M Defence Innovation Fund aim to encourage imagination, ingenuity and entrepreneurship, in pursuit of maintaining a military advantage in the future. With a rising Defence budget, and a £178 billion equipment plan, our commitment to innovation will deliver a safer and more prosperous Britain.
The Times has claimed that the Royal Navy is trying to save an extra £500m over the next two months.
An MOD Spokesperson said:
Britain has the largest defence budget in Europe and it is growing as we invest billions of pounds in new ships, submarines and aircraft. The Royal Navy is playing a key role as Britain steps up around the world, helping to provide stability abroad and security at home.