The project, which is called the Laser Directed Energy Weapon Capability Demonstrator, will have a contract worth between 20 and 100 million pounds, according to the Ministry of Defence, which also said that “the potential of laser based weapons systems has been identified as an opportunity and offers significant advantages in terms of running costs as well as providing a more appropriate response to the threats currently faced by UK armed forces.”According Andy Rhodes, business-development lead for missile systems at Raytheon, a winner could be chosen as soon as June 3. British engineering company Babcock will be leading a consortium of companies to receive the contract. This group includes Raytheon UK, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Rheinmetall and Thales UK, and uses a laser developed by Qinetiq and optronics supplied by Leonardo-Finmeccanica.Qinetiq will be supplying laser technology to at least three participants in the competition, which is supported by the Defense and Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the government’s defense lab. To have a contender that uses Qinetiq would help to localize a military arms field that has recently been dominated by Germany and the United States.
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