back to article Missile bods MBDA win Brit military laser cannon contract

A consortium led by European missile company MBDA has reportedly won the contract to build a laser cannon for the Ministry of Defence, according to unconfirmed reports. The project, awarded under the Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) demonstrator project announced last year, is for a prototype to demonstrate whether firing a …

  1. x 7

    whats infamous about Westland? They make decent kit and regularly get the MOD out of holes caused by lack of Government or MOD foresight..........

    1. Alister

      what's infamous about Westland?

      Here you go:

      The Westland affair in 1985–86 was an episode in which the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Defence Minister Michael Heseltine went public over a complex cabinet dispute with questions raised about integrity and which senior official was not telling the truth.

      The argument was a result of differences of opinion as to the future of the British helicopter industry. Westland Helicopters, Britain's last helicopter manufacturer, was to be the subject of a rescue bid. While the Defence Secretary Heseltine favoured a European solution, integrating Westland and British Aerospace (BAe) with Italian (Agusta) and French companies, the Prime Minister and the Trade and Industry Secretary Leon Brittan wanted to see Westland merge with Sikorsky, an American company. Heseltine refused to accept Thatcher's choice and suggested she had lied about it. She had leaked a confidential letter, then tried to cover that up. It resulted in resignations in January 1986 by Heseltine and Brittan. The episode embarrassed the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in 1986 and damaged her reputation

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. harmjschoonhoven

    Fair weather models

    Demos of high energy laser weapon systems are AFAIKS all performed under exellent weather conditions. I want to see their performance (and survival rate) in an arctic blizzard. Mine is the one with the Goalkeeper in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fair weather models

      Is the UK anticipating fighting future wars in an arctic blizzard? If a downpour causes problems then that's an issue, but I'm not so sure about a blizzard at least as far as the UK is concerned.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

        Re: Doug S Re: Fair weather models

        "Is the UK anticipating fighting future wars in an arctic blizzard?...." On several occasions the Royal Navy has fought in truly appalling weather, notably during the Artic Convoys to Russia in WW2 (including the sinking of the Scharnhorst in a full snowstorm during the Battle of the North Cape), and the more recent Falklands War. Personally, I'm quite pleased to see the Fish Heads planning for something to be used in other than bright skies and calm seas.

        /Most definitely not a sailor's life for me!

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

          Re: Doug S Fair weather models

          As an eye-opener to just how appalling the weather conditions the Royal Navy endured in the Atlantic in WW2, a friend reminded me of the scheme to make a carrier out of sawdust and ice, which required working conditions of -15 degrees C!

  4. Ru'

    If the daily fail is to be believed, all you need is an oik and a little laser pointer. Hand-held it will threaten any aircraft for miles around.

    I think they should also look at little toy drones, for they too can bring down planes easy as pie.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Miltech is far too expensive

      I'm planning on training seagulls to fly into jet intakes, then renting them out as a mercenary suicide brigade to the highest developing-world bidder. All hail the mighty Shredded Seagull Squad!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Let some other country spend their dollars on demonstrating whether it can be done. If they prove it works and is needed then buy or build your version of it. How many times does the same work need to be done, one might begin to think that this is about defense budgets are being harvested by the military industrial complex.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Carp

      > one might begin to think that this is about defense budgets are being harvested by the military industrial complex.

      That and the "Not Invented Here" syndrome.

  6. MrDamage


    Why not use a Metalstorm system instead?

    Throw up a wall of metal slugs at a fraction of the energy requirements rather than using complex chemical lasers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metalstorm

      Because you have to carry several walls of metal slugs and explosive with you.

  7. phuzz Silver badge

    Why don't Phillips have their own laser weapons division?

    They could call it "Phillips Energy Weapons", or PEW for short.

  8. Inventor of the Marmite Laser


    That's all

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great name....

    LDEW - Sounds like something you shake off your willy while standing at the urinal.

  10. Denarius Silver badge

    and of course

    the obligatory War Crimes fallout. If a 10mw laser can damage a pilots eyes, image what multikilowatt ones will do to all sighted organics for miles around.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: and of course

      Notice anything in particular about the nationalities of those who get prosecuted for war crimes...and that that don't?

  11. annodomini2

    Power draw indeed

    Most LASERs are 10-20% efficient, so your 100kW unit is going to need IRO a 500kW to 1MW power supply to run it, not mentioning chemicals etc. Depending on the type.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021