Ukraine is ready to test British drone-killing laser artillery

Ukrainian officials called on Britain to transfer the “Dragon Fire” laser cannon capable of killing drones almost instantly for practical testing on the battlefield.

The British Ministry of Defense in mid-week posted a newly declassified video about the country’s military’s “Dragon Fire” laser cannon test in mid-January. In the video, a high-intensity laser beam is shown at a drone in the sky, causing it to explode almost immediately.

“The British Ministry of Defense has just released a video of the ‘Dragon Fire’ laser weapon test. The agency said the advanced weapon model could ‘fundamentally change the battlefield'”, Anton Gerashchenko, advisor to The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, wrote on social network X. “We are ready to receive and test the operation of this laser complex in real combat conditions.”

Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko confirmed on March 14 that Kyiv wants to be transferred by London to the “Fire Dragon” laser cannon. “We are ready to test it in Ukraine,” he said.

The British Ministry of Defense has not commented on the information. According to Newsweek, the “Fire Dragon” laser cannon is still in the process of research and development, and the UK has no intention of deploying this complex in Ukraine.

The British Ministry of Defense previously said that “Dragon Fire” is capable of firing with high accuracy, enough to hit a coin at a distance of one kilometer. The agency did not reveal the weapon’s range but confirmed it could “attack any target within sight.”

Laser weapons such as “Dragon Fire” are considered an effective and low-cost solution for shooting down targets such as drones, weapons that are commonly used in the Ukrainian battlefield.

The British Ministry of Defense said each shot of “Fire Dragon” costs about 13 USD, while the missiles of air defense systems that Ukraine often uses to shoot down drones cost hundreds of thousands, even millions. USD per fruit.

Kyiv officials have repeatedly stated that the country is running out of anti-aircraft missiles to have to deal with remote attacks by Russian drones constantly. Ukrainian sources say Kyiv is in desperate need of additional cheap methods to deal with this tactic.

British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps also emphasized that “Dragon Fire” has the potential to “revolutionize” the way of fighting in the future, helping to reduce dependence on expensive ammunition and limit unexpected damage.

However, experts note that the real combat effectiveness of weapons like “Dragon Fire” has not yet been tested, and they have some disadvantages.

Fog, rain, and smoke on the battlefield can scatter laser beams and reduce damage to targets. Laser weapons also emit a lot of heat when fired, so they need to be equipped with a large cooling system, limiting the mobility of the combination.

Mobile laser systems, such as those mounted on warships or aircraft, will need to be regularly charged. The laser beam also needs to lock on the target for a few seconds to destroy it, which is not easy to do with fast-flying objects.

Britain was one of the countries that supported Ukraine most strongly after the war with Russia broke out. The country has pledged a total of $15 billion in aid to Kyiv since the beginning of the conflict, including more than $9 billion in military aid. Britain also transferred to Ukraine many types of modern weapons, including Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles.