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Advanced ‘DragonFire’ laser could transform Ukraine’s war strategy against Russia – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Ukraine is poised to potentially receive prototypes of the United Kingdom’s advanced “DragonFire” high-power laser weapon, which has been under development for over seven years and has just demonstrated its precision in recent tests. This development comes as Ukraine continues to defend against the ongoing Russian invasion, which began more than two years ago.
The British Defense Ministry has highlighted the weapon’s remarkable accuracy, capable of hitting a £1 coin from approximately one kilometer away.Although the full deployment of DragonFire is scheduled for 2027, there has been considerable pressure to expedite this timeline to assist Ukraine amidst its current conflict.
Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko expressed his country’s eagerness to deploy this technology on the battlefield, telling Newsweek, “We are ready to test DragonFire on the battlefield.” This sentiment reflects Ukraine’s urgent need for effective and cost-efficient defense solutions against Russian military tactics, particularly drone attacks.
British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps conveyed the UK’s intentions to accelerate the development and deployment of the DragonFire system. “What I want to do is speed up what would usually be a very lengthy process, possibly up to 10 years, down to a much shorter timeframe and get it deployed, potentially on ships and potentially on land,” Shapps said. He also hinted at the advanced nature of the technology, suggesting that it is “years ahead” of similar developments in other countries, a Newsweek report said.
The deployment of DragonFire to Ukraine could significantly reduce the costs of aerial defense. The British government estimates the cost of operating the laser to be around £10 (about $12) per firing, starkly less than the $4 million cost per firing of the US-made Patriot interceptor missiles, which Ukraine has been relying on heavily.
If proven effective, the DragonFire laser could also surpass traditional missile systems in combating fast-moving targets due to its ability to strike at the speed of light, potentially changing the dynamics of aerial defense in modern warfare.
As the UK considers moving up the deployment timeline, the international community watches closely. The successful integration and operation of DragonFire could mark a significant shift in defense technology usage on the modern battlefield, offering Ukraine a new edge in its ongoing conflict with Russia.


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