Death Rays Next for British Navy

The U.S. Navy demonstrated its laser cannon in December 2014.

Published Sep 16, 2015 4:48 PM by The Maritime Executive

The British Ministry of Defence, in an effort to become more cost-effective in warfare, has revealed plans to equip its warships with laser cannons. The Royal Navy hopes to demonstrate a functional prototype of the directed laser weapon on its ships by 2020. The ministry also aims to develop a land-based laser cannon by 2017.

Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) fair in London earlier this week, Admiral Sir George Zambellas stated that the “death ray” could potentially strike multiple targets at once and represent a solution to addressing rapidly rising missile development and production costs and reduce supply chain demands.

The Royal Navy is still exploring how the still-in-developmental lasers would be powered and have not decided if they would be mounted on their new type-26 frigate vessels.

The U.S. Navy demonstrated its own 30 KW laser aboard the USS Ponce in the Gulf last December. The U.S. Navy expects its laser to be deployed on ships by 2017.