File computer-generated image from Raytheon UK of laser weapons (Picture: Raytheon UK).
Weapons and Kit

New weapons hub in Scotland to develop anti-drone lasers

The centre, to be based in Livingston, will focus on the testing, fielding and maintenance of defensive high-energy laser (HEL) weapons.

File computer-generated image from Raytheon UK of laser weapons (Picture: Raytheon UK).

An anti-drone hub is to be built in Scotland to help meet the growing demand for laser weapons which target small attack drones.

The defence and intelligence technology firm Raytheon UK said the war in Ukraine has highlighted the threat posed by drones.

The firm's president of electronic warfare systems, Annabel Flores, told the BBC that "demand is spiking for cost-effective lasers" able to defeat "asymmetric" threats from drones, rockets and mortars.

The planned "advanced laser integration centre" will be a European hub for high-energy laser weaponry, the firm added, and will be based in Livingston, some 15 miles from Edinburgh.

Raytheon UK Livingston site 190722 CREDIT RAYTHEON UK
Raytheon UK's site in Livingston (Picture: Raytheon UK).

The centre will focus on the testing, fielding and maintenance of defensive high-energy laser (HEL) weapons.

It comes after the Ministry of Defence announced that a £160m contract had been awarded to Raytheon UK to support the training and development of Royal Navy personnel at Scotland's HM Naval Base Clyde.

Britain's Armed Forces began trials last year using laser weapons.

Watch: US Navy uses laser weapon to destroy floating target.