Royal Navy to test laser canons by 2020

A Merlin helicopter from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has been training with HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth Naval Base as part of her Rotary Wing Trials

Helicopter puts flight deck crew through its paces

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LASER weapons will be tested by the Royal Navy by 2020.

The announcement was made by the navy’s top sailor, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas.

He outlined a range of state-of-the-art innovations the Royal Navy was currently researching, which included energy-based weapons systems.

Speaking at the Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition – one of the world’s biggest arms fairs in London – Admiral Zambellas said the goal was to demonstrate such advances before the end of the decade.

He said: ‘Energy weapons don’t require conventional ammunition. With a cost-per-shot potentially measured in pence rather than pounds, they offer a route to address the spiralling costs of missile development and production, as well as reducing supply chain demands.’