Sunday, April 28, 2024

UK to Rush Experimental ‘Dragonfire’ Laser Weapon Into Service to Deploy in UKR; Here are 10 Anti-Drone Weapons Used by the U.S. Military; Here Comes the U.S, Navy’s Laser Fleet; What is the Non-Lethal Weapon: Active Denial System (ADS)? And LOTS MORE

MOD / DSTL / Collage
UK to Rush Experimental ‘Dragonfire’ Laser Weapon Into Service to Deploy in Ukraine:
Ukraine is to become a giant testing ground for a revolutionary new laser weapon which, if successful, promises to radically alter the economics of warfare, the British government says.
The “sovereign” British Dragonfire laser was successfully tested at an Army range in Scotland earlier this year. Now, defence procurement rules are being changed to rush it to deployment five years early, and perhaps to the front line in Ukraine even sooner. British Defence Minister Grant Shapps said the rollout of the anti-air laser to the Royal Navy warships was being brought forward five whole years, from 2032 to 2027, but made clear it could be seeing action earlier yet.
Speaking during a visit to the national Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), Shapps said: “Let’s say that it didn’t have to be 100 per cent perfect in order for Ukrainians perhaps to get their hands on it”. Even for British deployment on warships, he said it would be better to get to “70 per cent” complete and then field-test it to learn from real-world experience, rather than wait a decade for it to reach “99.9 per cent” completion.
Shapps said in a statement: “[Dragonfire is] the UK’s first laser weapon. Able to shoot down drones and missiles with incredible accuracy, it could revolutionise how we fight wars. And this isn’t an idea decades away, we’re building it right now to fit onto our warships in just three years time.”
The weapon’s revolutionary aspect — beyond obviously being a laser weapon — is how cheap it promises to be. Shooting down missiles and drones over Ukraine today is an extremely expensive business, with Patriot Missiles batteries coming in at a billion dollars apiece and each attempted shootdown launching a $4 million missile into the sky. By contrast, using the Dragonfire laser is claimed to cost just around £10 ($12) in electricity per shot.
This, if it works, would radically rebalance the economics of warfare as seen in Ukraine, where Russia — for instance — is able to blanket Ukraine with cheap, mass-produced explosive drones costing just a few tens of thousands of dollars each, but which would have to be shot down with missiles costing hundreds of thousands or millions. This attritional form of warfare becomes less appealing if Ukraine is able to shoot down drones with a $12 energy burst. --->READ MORE HERE
10 Anti-Drone Weapons Used by the U.S. Military:
10 Effective Anti-Drone Weapons
Here’s a list of some of the anti-drone weapons the Department of Defense has invested in the last few years:
Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE)
U.S. Department of Defense awarded a $40 million contract to L3Harris Technologies to deliver 14 anti-drone weapon systems to Ukraine’s security forces. The Vehicle Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) kit allows ground forces to target and shoot 70 mm laser-guided rockets to enemy drones. 
These VAMPIRE kits are portable and can be installed on various vehicles with cargo beds to facilitate the launch of advanced precision kill weapons systems (APKWS) and laser-guided munitions. 
Timeline of VAMPIRE kits
  • 2021: L3Harris first developed and field-tested the VAMPIRE system and submitted an advanced prototype to the U.S. Department of Defense 
  • 2022: L3Harris continued range and durability tests of the system and submitted an advanced prototype to the U.S. Department of Defense 
  • 2023: The units were delivered to Ukraine by mid-2023 to defeat Russian drones
Smash 2000L Optics
Smart Shooter, an Israel-based company, won a contract from the U.S. Army to supply their Smash 2000L optics for small arms and rifles for the counter-UAS program. This system allows users to precisely and accurately target small drones by using artificial intelligence, assisted vision, and advanced algorithms.
The optics weigh around 1.5 pounds, less than half the previous model’s weight. Additionally, Smart Shooter will enhance it to provide up to 8 times magnification for the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate, which serves the U.S. Department of Defense and interagency customers.
DroneGun Tactical
DroneShield is a company from Australia and the U.S. focusing on technology to counter drones. The company recently received a contract order from the Five Eyes Community to supply anti-drone guns. The DroneGun Tactical is used to counter unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
DroneShield’s DroneGun is hand-operated with long-range capability, with antennas designed like a lightweight, steady rifle. It offers a safe way to counter various UAS threats, such as drones, without causing any harm to commonly used drone models or the surrounding environment.
Lattice System and Sentry Tower
Anduril Industries was awarded a nearly $1 billion contract by Special Operations Command (SOCOM). As a partner of SOCOM, Anduril’s systems, powered by the Lattice operating system, include the Senty tower and Anvil small unmanned aerial system. Additionally, the company incorporates top-quality third-party sensors and effectors to create a comprehensive defense strategy against drone threats.
The Lattice system autonomously detects, classifies, and tracks targets on the battlefield, alerting users to potential threats and presenting solutions to engage and eliminate them. The Sentry tower consists of radar and optical sensors embedded in computing cores capable of processing data using machine learning algorithms for threat detection, identification, and tracking. --->LOTS MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Here comes the Navy’s laser fleet+++++

+++++Watch the US Navy's laser weapon in action+++++

+++++What is the Non-Lethal Weapon: Active Denial System?+++++

+++++VIDEO from 2012: Non-Lethal Weapon: Active Denial System (ADS)+++++

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